How can we stop child abuse before it happens?
The most important word in our name, Tippecanoe Child Abuse Prevention Council is prevention. While we stand beside and applaud the many people and agencies in our community who are doing the important work of helping children who have been abused, our goal is to lessen the need for these services. In order to truly prevent child abuse we need to understand what factors contribute to and protect against the likelihood of child abuse occurring. The Strengthening Families Framework identifies five key protective factors which are:
Parents and caregivers have coping skills to handle the stress of raising children
Parents, caregivers, and families have a network of people to rely on for support
Social and Emotional Competence
Parents and Caregivers have the ability to form nurturing relationships and bonds with their children
Knowledge of Parenting and Development
Parents understand appropriate expectations and discipline techniques for children’s ages
Concrete Support for Families
Parents and families’ basic needs both emotional and physical are met
Image taken for the Center for the Study of Social Policy
When families have these things in place, the likelihood that child abuse will occur is drastically reduced. One of the things that is great about this framework it leads to actionable steps to preventing child abuse,. This is also great because it gives us hope that we can make a difference. We at T-CAP are excited to launch a new blog series where we will looking more closely at what each of these factors is and more importantly, what we can do as a community to bolster these factors. Stay tuned for the next post in this series where we learning more about developing parental resilience!