Put Prevention First
Make preventing child abuse and neglect key to every decision...for your family, community, school, or business. Ask, "How would this decision affect children? How could it help prevent child abuse and neglect?"
Be an Advocate
Speak out against child abuse and neglect.
Contact your elected officials. Urge them to support funding for policies and programs that support children and families.
Write to the editor of your newspaper, pointing out that preventing child abuse and neglect is an important investment in your community.
Use social media to spread awareness about child abuse and neglect.
Organize a fundraiser or a food drive to support an organization that helps families in your community.
Help the public library develop resources for parents. Work with the librarian to develop a collection of resources on child development and parenting skills.
Work to prevent all violence. Join or start a group that works to prevent crime and violence in your community. Send a message that your community does not tolerate violence.
Work with schools. Encourage your local schools to develop programs that prevent violence and abuse. You don’t have to be a parent to get involved. Call your local school to find out what's going on to prevent violence and abuse in your community and how you can help.
Support your school’s fforts. Voice your support and donate your time or resources for programs that:
- Teach children how to protect themselves from abuse.
- Give adolescents the knowledge they need to be nurturing parents someday.
- Teach parenting skills to teen parents.
- Work to prevent bullying, harassment, and fighting in the schools.
- Provide before and after school activities to keep children safe.
- Provide affordable meals or other assistance for children and families who may be under financial stress.
Make a Donation
If you can, donate money to an organization that works to prevent child abuse. Most charitable contributions are tax deductible – and they support efforts to help families.
Donate clothing, food or toys to a social service agency that helps families in your community.
Build a Support Network by Getting Involved in Your Community. Taking these steps helps strengthen your family and your community.
- Get to Know Your Neighbors. Develop friendly relationships with your neighbors and their children. Problems often seem less overwhelming when you have support nearby.
- Get Involved in Your Child’s School. Join the parent-teacher organization and attend school events.
- Be an Active Community Member. Attend town meetings and community events. Join groups that are working to improve your community.
- Know Where to Get Help. Many schools and communities offer programs that support parents and children. Call 2-1-1 to learn more about groups offered in your community.
- Talk to your neighbors about looking out for one another’s children.
- Encourage a supportive spirit among parents and other adults in your apartment building or on your block.
- Show that you are involved.
- Offer to babysit.
- Help with chores and errands.
- Suggest resources in the community that can help the family.
- Lend a friendly ear.
- Show you understand.
- Give your used clothing, furniture, and toys for use by another family.
- Remember the names of neighborhood children and other neighbors.
- Smile when you talk with neighbors.
- Ask children about their day at school.
- Parent Education programs teach parents about child development and nurturing parenting skills.
- Parent Resource Centers provide services such as parenting education, social networking, self-help groups or child-care relief.
- Home-visiting programs provide social support, education, and crisis-intervention to enrolled families, including families at risk for abuse.
- Substance abuse treatment programs can help parents overcome problems with alcohol or other drugs.
- Well-baby programs provide health and education services to new parents.
- Childcare programs offer affordable childcare services. This may allow parents to maintain full-time jobs or stay in school while keeping their children safe.
- Respite care provides relief to families with a child or other family member who is ill or has a disability.
- Parent mentor programs match experienced, stable parents with parents at risk for abuse. Mentors provide support and model positive parenting skills.
- Be a Good Neighbor. Reach out to families and children in your community. When neighbors can rely on each other, everyone benefits.
- Help Families under Stress. If a family you know seems to be in crisis or under stress, offer to help.
- Be Kind to Children. Get to know the children in your neighborhood. Be kind and supportive to any child, especially if his or her family is under stress.
- Report Suspected Child Abuse or Neglect. Reporting abuse can help protect the child and get the family help. If you fear a child may be abused or neglected, please call 9-1-1.
Learn How Your Community Supports Children and Families
Programs may be offered through schools, healthcare clinics, social service agencies, or community organizations. For information about possible programs in your community, please contact North Dakota's information Help Line at 2-1-1 -- or reach PCAND at
, 701-223-9052, or 1-800-403-9932 (toll free in North Dakota).
Source: You Can Help Prevent Child Abuse, Prevent Child Abuse America.