For 30 years, Prevent Child Abuse America has been working at the national, state and community levels to prevent child abuse in all its forms. Our many state and local prevention programs help spread the word in your community, creating awareness that prevention is possible. Together, we can make a difference. Remember, a child is helpless – you are not.
Prevent Child Abuse America (PCA America) has led the way in building awareness, providing education and inspiring hope to everyone involved in the effort to prevent the abuse and neglect of our nation’s children. Working with our chapters, we provide leadership to promote and implement prevention efforts at both the national and local levels. With the help of our state chapters and concerned individuals like you we’re valuing children, strengthening families and engaging communities nationwide.
Our national campaign and local programs, prevention initiatives and events help spread the word in your community, creating awareness that prevention is possible. We are a family of friends, professionals, volunteers, donors and parents who are preventing child abuse and neglect before it ever starts.
Prevent Child Abuse America’s Network of 47 Statewide Chapters are critical to the successful realization of our mission. While defined by their shared focus on the prevention of child abuse and neglect, and similar in many of the activities they support and implement – advocacy, public awareness, training/education, prevention programming, coalition building, and Child Abuse Prevention Month activities among others – PCA America’s state Chapters are also independent of one another and unique in terms of the kinds of strategies and programming they offer.
Preventing Child Abuse, Promoting Child Well-Being
The Six Protective Factors
Protective factors are conditions in families and communities that, when present, increase the health and well-being of children and families. They are attributes that serve as buffers, helping parents who might otherwise be at risk of abusing their children to find resources, supports, or coping strategies that allow them to parent effectively, even under stress.
Research has shown that these protective factors are linked to a lower incidence of child abuse and neglect.
- Nurturing and Attachment - A child’s early experience of being nurtured and developing a bond with a caring adult affects all aspects of behavior and development. When parents and children have strong, warm feelings for one another, children develop trust that their parents will provide what they need to thrive, including love, acceptance, positive guidance, and protection.
- Knowledge of Parenting and Child Development - Discipline is both more effective and more nurturing when parents know how to set and enforce limits and encourage appropriate behaviors based on the child’s age and level of development. Parents who understand how children grow and develop can provide an environment where children can live up to their potential. Child abuse and neglect are often associated with a lack of understanding of basic child development or an inability to put that knowledge into action. Timely mentoring, coaching, advice, and practice may be more useful to parents than information alone.
- Parental Resilience - Resilience is the ability to handle everyday stressors and recover from occasional crises. Parents who are emotionally resilient have a positive attitude, creatively solve problems, effectively address challenges, and are less likely to direct anger and frustration at their children.
- Social Connections - Evidence links social isolation and perceived lack of support to child maltreatment. Trusted and caring family and friends provide emotional support to parents by offering encouragement and assistance in facing the daily challenges of raising a family. Supportive adults in the family and the community can model alternative parenting styles and can serve as resources for parents when they need help.
- Concrete Support for Parents - Many factors beyond the parent-child relationship affect a family’s ability to care for their children. Parents need basic resources such as food, clothing, housing, transportation, and access to essential services that address family-specific needs (such as child care and health care) to ensure the health and well-being of their children.
- Social and Emotional Competence of Children - Just like learning to walk, talk, or read, children must also learn to identify and express emotions effectively. When a child has the right tools for healthy emotional expression, parents are better able to respond to his or her needs, which strengthens the parent-child relationship. When a child’s age, disability, or other factors affect his or her needs and the child is incapable of expressing those needs, it can cause parental stress and frustration. Developing emotional self-regulation is important for children’s relationships with family, peers, and others.
Tip Sheets for Parents and Caregivers
These tip sheets from Preventing Child Maltreatment and Promoting Well-Being: A Network for Action 2012 Resource Guide are designed for service providers to distribute to parents and caregivers to address a particular parenting concern or question. The information is easy to read and focuses on concrete strategies parents and caregivers can use to take care of their children and strengthen their families.
Each tip sheet is available in English and Spanish. We encourage you to make copies of the tip sheets that are most useful to the families with whom you work.
Keeping Your Family Strong, Bonding With Your Baby, Dealing With Temper Tantrums, Parenting Your School-Age Child, Connecting With Your Teen, Teen Parents … You’re Not Alone!, Ten Ways to Be a Better Dad, Raising Your Grandchildren, Military Families, How to Develop Strong Communities, Parenting Your Child With Developmental Delays and Disabilities.
Download all eleven tip sheets
Preventing Child Maltreatment and Promoting Well-Being
A Network for Action Resource Guide supports service providers in their work with parents, caregivers, and their children to strengthen families and prevent child abuse and neglect. It focuses on the six protective factors, which have been proven to reduce the risk of abuse and neglect, and provides tools and strategies to integrate the factors into existing programs and systems.
- Laying the Groundwork – Prevention, Promotion, Well-Being, and the Network for Action
- Working With Families: The Six Protective Factors – Nurturing and Attachment
- Engaging Your Community – Engaging Community Partners
- Protecting Children
- Tip Sheets for Parents and Caregivers
- Resources – National Child Abuse Prevention Partners