Project Pinwheel

A note about COVID-19

Due to COVID-19 and the ongoing need to practice precautions, some of the recommendations for ways to help and connect with others listed on this page are not safe and should be avoided at this time—especially those that call for close contact with others. However, many of the strategies listed here are still possible!

Balancing home and work life has been even more challenging during COVID-19. Continue to look for ways to connect and see how mothers and fathers are doing, and express understanding and flexibility if their work schedules or habits change during this time. Express care and support for the health and well-being of mothers and fathers, while understanding that they too are facing unprecedented challenges and may not have the support they need.




What Businesses Can Do


Businesses can support children and families in many ways, both within and outside of the workplace


Businesses can have a positive impact on families in our community—employees and customers alike. Whether supporting employees by creating family-friendly practices, enlisting with local community organizations, or working to foster a sense of community in and around your workplace, your business has many opportunities to make a difference.


Listen and Connect

Listen and Connect

Recognize that balancing work and home life can be difficult for everyone at times, and especially for parents. Check in with mothers and fathers to see how they are doing. Parenting is often difficult and asking for help can be hard. Acknowledging this and offering support is an important connection for all families.

Help

Help

Decide what “family-friendly” means for your business. Family-friendly policies in the workplace make it possible for employees to more easily balance family and work obligations.1 Read below for ways to do this:

  • Support mothers who choose to breastfeed. Offer private areas for pumping breastmilk and access to a refrigerator to safely store it. Where feasible and safe, allow breastfeeding mothers to bring their babies to work. Breastfed babies have fewer illnesses, which means fewer sick days for parents and research suggests that having babies present at work can boost morale2.
  • Offer a secure schedule for shift workers. A set schedule can help parents to plan for their childcare needs. This also reduces stress and increases reliability.
  • In business settings that allow, offer flexible working arrangements that permit parents to choose when they work while still meeting the hourly requirements for their job.
  • Allot time for parents to participate in parent-teacher conferences and medical appointments.
  • Offer parents an opportunity to work remotely on certain days, hours, or a pre-determined period.
Participate

Participate

Getting involved in your community is an excellent way to give back and foster camaraderie among employees—and increase recognition for your business. Here are a few ideas:

Educate and Share

Educate and Share

Provide training to employees about how to communicate with and support parents in your place of business, especially during stressful parenting and family situations. A simple smile or gesture to a customer or client recognizes that parenting in public is difficult and sometimes "kids will be kids.”

Share resources like Parenthelp123 with employees. Parenthelp123connect families to a range of health and community resources.

Advocate

Advocate

Join an organization that advocates for the well-being of children and families. There are many to choose from, but here are a couple of examples:

  • Become a member of Our kids: Our business. As a member, you can attend their annual event in April, which offers training and information on how you can better support the well-being of Spokane’s children or host an educational presentation to help others learn about child abuse and neglect in our community.
  • Participate in “Pinwheels for Prevention,” a national movement held during Child Abuse Prevention month in April. Each year, organizations, businesses and individuals plant “gardens” of blue pinwheels, the symbol of a safe and carefree childhood, as a commitment to supporting public policies that promote the well-being of families and children and the prevention of child abuse and neglect.
  • Advocate for policies that support children and families such as affordable health care, quality childcare, and other social supports. Without having basic needs met, employees can not work at their full potential.
Learn

Learn

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offer a variety of actions, both large and small, that businesses can take to support families and prevent child abuse.

Learn how to promote safety in your place of business. Domestic violence impacts many families and poses a risk to every workplace in America. An employee who is not safe at home can’t perform their best work. Learn more.

There’s a lot to know about child abuse and neglect and its effect on a community. Prevent Child Abuse America explains why reducing adverse childhood experiences, also known as ACES, is an investment in the future—for everyone. Want to know more about brain development? Check out this document.


1 Phil Rabinowitz, “Promoting Family-Friendly Policies in Business and Government, Chapter 25, Section 11 ” Community Tool Box, last accessed February 21, 2020, https://ctb.ku.edu/en/table-of-contents/implement/changing-policies/business-government-family-friendly/main.

2 “State Health Agency Breastfeeding Promotion and Support”, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, last accessed February 21, 2020, https://www.astho.org/Maternal-and-Child-Health/Breastfeeding/?terms=BABIES+IN+THE+WORKPLACE