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New Resource for Professionals Working to Prevent Child Abuse

A serious young man.

From his bedroom one night, 12-year-old Marco* called the National Runaway Safeline after a confrontation with his father turned violent and resulted in physical abuse. His father punched him in the face after learning of his son’s relationship with another boy.

Many youth run away from home because of physical or sexual abuse. More than half (56 percent) of homeless youth and young adults report experiencing physical abuse and nearly one-third (30 percent) sexual abuse. Youth services professionals need to be aware of the signs of child abuse and ways to serve youth victims.

This is why April, Child Abuse Prevention Month, is so important. This annual campaign raises public awareness of child abuse and neglect, offers strategies and resources to prevent abuse, and promotes the social and emotional well-being of children and families.

To support service providers working with youth at risk of or victims of child abuse, the Children’s Bureau, it’s Child Welfare Information Gateway, and the FRIENDS National Center for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention recently published the 2016/2017 Prevention Resource Guide: Building Community, Building Hope.

Here are some highlights from the resource guide:

Protective Factors. Learn about the six protective factors that help reduce child abuse: 1) nurturing and attachment; 2) knowledge of parenting and child development; 3) parental resilience; 4) social connections; 5) support for families; and 6) social and emotional competence of children. Understand what each of these protective factors is and how you can apply it to your work serving youth.

Understanding of Child Abuse. Know what child abuse is, how to recognize it, why it occurs, and what places certain children at higher risk of being abused. Learn the consequences of abuse, such as trauma, and how to support youth with a history of trauma.

Community Resources. Get tips and strategies on building community partnerships that can help you work with children who have been abused. There is a directory of National Child Abuse Prevention Partners, organizations that work collaboratively with other agencies to support and improve child abuse prevention programs.

In addition to the resource guide, the Child Abuse Prevention Month website features social media outreach material, a video gallery of child abuse prevention programs in action, and tip sheets in English and Spanish on a range of topics, such as human trafficking and preventing child sexual abuse.

Access the 2016/2017 Prevention Resource Guide.

More on Child Abuse Prevention

Hotline Helps Child Abuse Victims 24/7

Preventing Child Sexual Abuse at Youth-Serving Organizations

Difficult Reunions: Working With Families to Overcome Abuse

*Names and details have been changed to respect anonymity.

Publications discussed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Clearinghouse on Families and Youth, the Family and Youth Services Bureau, or the Administration for Children and Families.

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