Strong Communities
Prevent Child Abuse

Preventing child abuse often happens at the community level. A strong, supportive community that values parenting and families makes a safe and healthy environment for kids. And parents who know they have support and access to resources are better parents.

Protective Factors

A strong community helps parents learn, supports them and reduces stress through programs and services that emphasize “protective” factors, including:

  • Nurturing and attachment
  • Knowledge and parenting and child development
  • Parental resilience
  • Social connections
  • Concrete support for parents

Successful family-support and child-abuse prevention programs bolster protective factors by:

Facilitating friendships and support
Offer opportunities for parents to get to know each other, develop support systems, and take leadership roles. Strategies may includes sports teams, pot lucks, classes, advisory groups, board leadership and volunteer opportunities

Strengthening parenting
Develop ways for parents to get support on parenting issues through classes, support groups, in-home visits, tip sheets and resource libraries.

Responding to family crises
Offer extra support to families when they need it, as in times of illness, job loss or housing problems.

Linking families to service opportunities
Provide referrals for job training, education, health care, mental health, and other community services.

Supporting children's social and emotional development
Some programs specifically focus on helping children articulate their feelings and get along with others. When children bring home what they have learned in the classroom, parents benefit as well.