FAS' Tara Mitchell earns Washington State Parent Recognition Award
FAS’ Tara Mitchell recently garnered a Parent Recognition Award by the Washington State Department of Early Learning for her work on Abusive Head Trauma (AHT), otherwise known as Shaken Baby Syndrome. Mitchell became an advocate of abusive head trauma prevention after her own son nearly died when he was only six months old after being violently shaken by a caregiver. Not only has she been a fierce advocate for her son’s recovery, health and well-being, she has taken this tragedy and translated adversity into advocacy. She became an active member of the AHT Task Force of Washington, and works tirelessly through public speaking, advocacy, and fundraising on projects to prevent Shaken Baby Syndrome.
Mitchell actively participates in the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome “Period of Purple Crying” campaign organized through Seattle Children’s Hospital. This program educates parents and caregivers about the time in their baby’s life they cry most often. The Period of PURPLE Crying campaign currently provides about 50 percent of the birthing hospitals in Washington State with this information. The acronym PURPLE describes specific characteristics of an infant's crying during this phase and let parents and caregivers know that they are experiencing normal infant behavior, which although frustrating, will pass.
The campaign also gives each parent a knitted or crocheted purple baby hat for their baby to serve as a reminder. Each year program volunteers donate thousands of hats for this cause; Mitchell is always looking for more crafters to support the program. Click here for more information about this program to donate caps.
Mitchell also works with the University of Washington Kappa Delta Reach for the Sky Auction to Prevent Child Abuse America, an annual auction that raised approximately $89,000 in January 2014; as well as the Multicare sponsored Courage Classic, a 173 mile bicycle tour across Washington state to financially support the Rotary Endowment for the Intervention and Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect.
Mitchell, one of 28 honorees, won accolades at the Washington State Capitol on February 24 during a Parent Recognition Month ceremony. Her story ran in the February Seattle Child Magazine. Contact: Stephanie Kenitzer, (253) 931-7873.