A Community-Based Prevention Approach: Examples from the Field
The issue of child maltreatment is complex and requires community-based solutions to ensure the well-being of children and families. The prevention of maltreatment, both primary and secondary, involves a unique understanding of community context and individual’s behavior as it relates to society. It is important to promote practice principles believed to mitigate stressors that could lead to child maltreatment and overall, to support improved outcomes for children and families. These principles include building the capacity of communities to offer locally based services and supports that address the unique needs of children and families, and strengthen parental capacity to protect and provide for their children. However, the prevention of child abuse is not just about services, but about embracing and changing norms—those community and individual beliefs and expectations about how we should behave, and the understanding that there is knowledge to be gained from the community that individuals come from. This article presents examples from a nation-wide, federally funded program that strengthens families and prevents child maltreatment through community-based solutions that embrace social norms and promote collaboration and coordination across related efforts at the state and local level.
KeywordsPrevention Community-based Child abuse Child maltreatment Family Children Protective factors Primary prevention Social norms Family support Community norms
The authors would like to thank the Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention programs (Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic, Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, and the Massachusetts Children’s Trust Fund) that contributed information to this article. They graciously shared their knowledge, and they are part of a larger group of programs that are engaged in leading important work in communities across the nation.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.
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