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How Does Primary Prevention Work?

Communities that take prevention seriously do the following:

Support parents and caregivers before there is a crisis.

Provide primary prevention activities and programs for all parents regardless of ethnic, cultural, racial or economic backgrounds because they understand that child abuse and neglect happens in all segments of our communities.

Invest in prevention because they understand that their investment will ultimately reduce juvenile delinquency rates, drug and alcohol abuse, domestic violence and crime.

Understand that prevention requires leadership and involvement from all sectors of the community including civic, business, education, clergy, health and human services.

Understand that preventing child abuse and neglect is everyone's problem

To build a community that truly cares for its children:

1) Raise Awareness
Prevention starts by raising awareness about the problem of child abuse and neglect. We need to inform people of the statistics - the numbers of reported and substantiated cases of child fatalities. Right along with this we need to raise awareness that prevention is possible - that we can indeed prevent child abuse and neglect from ever happening.

2) Distribute Information About Parenting
We know that most parents and caregivers want to do the best job they can in raising their children. We also know that most parents and caregivers need help. When we provide them with information, through brochures, articles, or any other distribution method, we are giving them the tools they need to improve their parenting skills, strengthen their families and reduce their risk of abuse and neglect.

3) Create Educational Programs that Support Families
All parents, regardless of background, have had challenging times as a parent when support and information could have helped. In addition to distributing information, we need to provide them with workshops, support groups and parent education that allow them to share their experiences and learn from others.

4) Build Support for Community-Based Prevention Programs
Since primary prevention works best at a community level, ultimately we need to have prevention programs based in caring communities. We need to work to encourage communities and organizations within communities to take on this responsibility and begin preventing abuse and neglect at the grassroots level.

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