Thursday, March 07, 2013

Preventing Child Abuse

One of the challenges of working in the field of prevention is figuring out how to "prove" that you've prevented bad things from happening. For example, how do you prove that you've prevented child abuse? A prevalent theory is that you can work to increase the "protective factors" in a child's life. These factors include family resilience, social support, knowledge of parenting and child development, concrete support in times of need and social and children's attachment. By valuing parents, supporting them in every day parenting, responding to family crises, as well as helping parents understand and support their child's growth and development, we can decrease the chances of child abuse or neglect. We piloted the Protective Factors survey in a group of new families to see how our services impacted families' ability to cope with stresses of family life. Results of the study showed that "HIPPY parents most at-risk for child abuse and neglect increased statistically significantly in multiple protective factors to prevent child abuse and neglect after their first year of participation". For more information on Texas HIPPY research check out the Center for Parent Education website. For definitions and data on child abuse, mandated reporting and the cost of abuse, check out our partner organization TexProtects. And please take a moment to watch compelling testimony from Madeline McClure of TexProtects to our House of Representatives. 

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