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What is Prevention?

A comprehensive approach to the prevention of child abuse consists of community programs that are targeted to different populations and reflect phases of the family life cycle. To cope successfully with their roles in the family, both adults and children require certain supports, training, and information.

Prevent Child Abuse Indiana recognizes that child abuse prevention activities must be provided at all three levels of prevention, including:

Primary Prevention - Programs and services designed to promote the general welfare of children and families.

Secondary Prevention - Services identified and provided to families who are at high risk for abuse.

Tertiary Prevention - Services provided after the occurrence of abuse or neglect, designed to prevent the recurrence of abuse.

Prevent Child Abuse Indiana's focus is to be a catalyst at the Primary Prevention level.

Is It Or Isn't It A Prevention Program?

Many people still ask, "How does one know if a program is really a prevention program?" Ron Biendseil, former chairman of the Wisconsin Prevention Network, has developed a series of questions to help determine whether a program or service is a primary prevention, intervention (secondary), or treatment (tertiary) program.

What response best describes the particular program? (choose only one)

1) Is the program
A) proactively creating conditions that promote the well being of people, or
B) reactively promoting change for, or with an individual who has a recognized need, problem or disability?

2) Is the program open to:
A) the general population, or
B) only to individuals with identified needs, disabilites, or problems?

3) Which of these terms best describes the recipients of services being provided:
A) participants, or
B) clients?

4) Is the program promoted or advertised as being for:
A) people who want to increase their involvement, expertise, knowledge, skills or awareness, or
B) people who are experiencing crisis or looking for help in solving a current problem?

5) Are people in the program because:
A) they want knowledge, skills, expertise that will make them more capable people, or
B) they are experiencing a crisis or need help in preventing their problems from getting worse?

6) Is the focus of the program on:
A) reducing the incidence of new problems, or
B) reducing the prevalence of people who already have an identified disorder?

7) Is the program designed for the most part to:
A) keep people healthy and self-sufficient, or
B) provide support for people who are recovering from a problem or who have completed a treatment program?

8) Does the program provide services that are:
A) basically open transactions available to any interested person, or
B) basically private transactions between individuals (or families) in which the client's confidentiality is protected?

9) Is participation in the program:
A) voluntary, or
B) mandated, ordered or required by legal authority?

If the answer to all nine questions is "A", the program is most certainly a prevention program. If the answer to all nine is "B", the program is almost certainly an intervention/treatment program. If the responses are mixed, it is probably some type of "targeted" or secondary prevention program, or a very early intervention program.

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