What is Prevention?
A comprehensive approach to the prevention of child abuse consists of community programs that are targeted to different populations and reflect phases of the family life cycle. To cope successfully with their roles in the family, both adults and children require certain supports, training, and information.
Prevent Child Abuse Indiana recognizes that child abuse prevention activities must be provided at all three levels of prevention, including:
Primary Prevention – Programs and services designed to promote the general welfare of children and families.
Secondary Prevention – Services identified and provided to families who have identified risk factors for abuse.
Tertiary Prevention – Services provided after the occurrence of abuse or neglect, designed to prevent the recurrence of abuse.
Prevent Child Abuse Indiana’s focus is to be a catalyst at the Primary Prevention level.
How Does Primary Prevention Work?
Communities that take prevention seriously do the following:
Support parents and caregivers before there is a crisis.
Provide primary prevention activities and programs for all parents regardless of ethnic, cultural, racial or economic backgrounds because they understand that child abuse and neglect happens in all segments of our communities.
Invest in prevention because they understand that their investment will ultimately reduce juvenile delinquency rates, drug and alcohol abuse, domestic violence and crime.
Understand that prevention requires leadership and involvement from all sectors of the community including civic, business, education, clergy, health and human services.
Understand that preventing child abuse and neglect is everyone’s problem
To build a community that truly cares for its children:
1) Raise Awareness
Prevention starts by raising awareness that prevention is possible – that we can indeed prevent child abuse and neglect from ever happening. [Link to Take Action – How to Advocate]
2) Distribute Information About Parenting
We know that most parents and caregivers want to do the best job they can in raising their children. We also know that most parents and caregivers need help. When we provide them with information, through brochures [Link to Order – Brochures], articles, or any other distribution method, we are giving them the tools they need to improve their parenting skills, strengthen their families and reduce their risk of abuse and neglect.
3) Create Educational Programs that Support Families
All parents, regardless of background, have had challenging times as a parent when support and information could have helped. In addition to distributing information, we need to provide them with workshops, support groups and parent education that allow them to share their experiences and learn from others.
4) Build Support for Community-Based Prevention Programs
Since primary prevention works best at a community level, ultimately we need to have prevention programs based in caring communities. We need to work to encourage communities and organizations within communities to take on this responsibility and begin preventing abuse and neglect at the grassroots level.