A colorful tribute lined the lawn at Palomar Medical Center in Escondido Tuesday: more than 330 pinwheels each symbolizing a child abuse survivor.
To mark April as National Child Abuse Prevention Month, the multi-colored pinwheels were placed on the lawn of Palomar Health’s downtown campus at 555 E. Valley Parkway.
Each pinwheel stands for a child treated over the past year by the facility’s Child Abuse Program at Palomar Health’s Forensic Health Services Program.
According to a spokesperson, Palomar Health is involved in both the prevention and investigation of child abuse cases in San Diego County.
In connection with law enforcement agencies in the North County, the Forensic Health Services program is involved interviewing survivors of child abuse. Children are medically assessed through the program, and Palomar Health helps to assist Child Protective Services and investigations in determining the nature and extent of a child’s abuse.
Free parent workshops, developmental and behavioral check-ups and treatment services for young children and their families are provided by the Healthy Development Services program (HDS).
Palomar Health’s Child Abuse program saw its first young victim in 1985. Today, the program supports several hundred children each year in north San Diego County.
The Palomar Health website says the program is one of 54 such programs in California, and one of only two in San Diego County.