By recognizing that strengthening families through supportive, primary prevention services, we can take the first steps in preventing danger and harm by drawing upon the strengths of our families and communities. Primary prevention are the services that are aimed toward the general population to raise awareness and education about the prevention of child abuse and neglect. Observing National Child Abuse Prevention Month is a way to understand that we have the ability to support families within our communities and to help keep children out of harm’s way.
We can prevent the vulnerability that too often leads to child abuse and neglect by helping families access critical support and basic needs within the communities where they live. The most effective strategy to enhance the well-being of children and families is to strengthen and support families and communities. The stronger and more connected families are to community-based resources and support, the less vulnerable children will be to the factors that often precipitate child abuse or neglect. Everyone needs help sometimes, but many parents are afraid to ask for help due to the stigma of admitting vulnerability for fear of losing their children.
It is critical to understand that poverty is not the equivalent of neglect. In other words, poverty is not neglect—it’s a sign that a family is not receiving the basic support they need to thrive. The relationship between race, poverty, neglect, and disproportionality plays a significant role in the child welfare system. This is why system replacement is the only way to move forward. Read more in the Family Integrity & Justice Quarterly, “Poverty Is Not Abuse…Poverty Is Not Neglect,” to hear from those with lived expertise and voices from the field, including advocates, researchers, and lawyers.
Family Integrity & Justice Works at Public Knowledge® is entirely dedicated to strengthening families, keeping them together, and replacing the child welfare system that is perpetuating harmful practices. Modifying the current system is not enough.