Create Nurturing and Safe Homes

Child abuse prevention

Most parents love their children but even in the best of situations, parents have many responsibilities, which can sometimes feel like heavy “boxes”. Families who are at-risk for experiencing child abuse/neglect struggle to carry many “boxes” at the same time while having decreased access to resources & services that can help. These families feel overwhelmed & this is the tipping point at which abuse or neglect occurs. Our community has a high number of children at risk of abuse/neglect, a large number of families with open child protective services cases, & a large number of children in foster care. Through our parent education services (primarily in-home sessions), we help parents address issues that place their children at risk of abuse, teach parenting & life skills, and provide coaching as parents integrate new skills into daily life. In-home & group parent education sessions can reduce risk and help prevent abuse/neglect from occurring.

We will provide in-home parent education & life skills training to at risk families using an evidence-based model (Exchange Parent Aide). We will also offer group training classes to help meet needs expressed by our local judges & child protective services agencies. We will provide low-income families with home safety equipment & supplies as needed to address situations that can place children at risk for injury (e.g. provide safety gates, car seats, cribs). There are frequent requests from other agencies that we hold parenting classes with their client-base but we lack sufficient staff to provide this service. By providing information to parents, we increase child safety, increase parental life skills & parenting skills, and increase parent access to social support systems. Through services and information, we help families create nurturing and safe homes---and prevent child abuse.

By providing education & support services as quickly as possible, we reduce the number of children who are abused or who have significant risk for future abuse. Prevention efforts keep children out of foster care. This is important on an emotional level for children. It also has financial implications for our community as the estimated average lifetime cost per victim of nonfatal child maltreatment can cost thousands of dollars (costs inlcude child health care, productivity losses, adult medical costs, special educations costs, etc.). A portion of this award will be used to contract parenting classes. For some classes (i.e. court-ordered), we can charge sliding-scale fees,which will generate dollars to further support the parent education program....and keep classes going.