Leaving your child in the care of someone!  Do you really know that person? 

We want to believe that the person we love and who shares our life is someone whom we can trust unconditionally.  With regard to our children however, we need to go “above and beyond” when it comes to protecting them.  We have some tips then, to which you can refer when trying to determine if your partner is safe to be around, and sometimes care for, your child.

  • Does your partner yell at your child?
  • Do they hit your child?
  • Talk badly about your child?
  • Have they ever told your child to keep a secret from you?
  • Do they have a history of domestic violence?
  • Are they cruel to animals?
  • Do they abuse alcohol or drugs?
  • Do they have a criminal history that involves violence?
  • Are they easily angered or frustrated?
  • How much do they know about children, especially young children?
  • Do they seem to have high expectations of children?
  • Do they know about Safe Sleep practices?
  • Do they criticize you or attempt to control you?


You can also pay attention to your child’s cues in order to gauge if there is a safety concern:

  • Does your child seem afraid of your partner?
  • Do they cry when left with your partner?
  • Do they have unexplained bruises or marks (and especially in infants, there should be no “unexplained” bruises or marks, as they are not yet mobile)
  • Does your child act differently with your partner than they do with you?
  • Don’t assume that if your partner is a woman, that she will automatically know how to care for a child. The ability to parent is not an “instinct”; it is a learned behavior.


There are some positive signs as well that may help you to gauge how your partner is interacting with your child.

  • Does your partner speak to you and your child in a respectful way?
  • Respect your child’s wishes?
  • Use positive discipline techniques like re-direction and time out?
  • Understand what children can and cannot do and certain ages and stages?
  • Do they know about Safe Sleep practices?
  • Does your child like being at home?
  • Is your child open with you about their feelings?


We know that people fall in love and want companionship.  They may also feel in a financial bind and feel that being with someone will help to ease that burden.  However, our children also need love and nurturing from everyone that comes into their lives.  Anyone we bring into our homes will impact our children, but it should always be a positive impact.


We hope that this information has been helpful, but there are other resources that may help:

  • Family, friends, your faith community
  • Counselors
  • Your child’s Pediatrician
  • You may also contact 1-800-CHILDREN
  • National Sex Offender Registry to see if your partner’s name is listed. (http://www.nationalsexoffenderregistry.com)


To order or print our Brochure on this topic (or any of our brochure topics), please click HERE.





Prevent Child Abuse Indiana is a vital resource to our community and is working diligently to protect and serve the children of our state. Amid the COVID-19 virus, this work is more important now than ever before. This vulnerable time is causing families to become unemployed, leading to lack of resources for food and shelter. We know that vulnerable conditions such as these can lead to increased cases of child abuse, which is why we need your help.

It is possible that small, discreet actions can make a difference in a child’s life. Please join us at this virtual event to see how you can make a difference during Child Abuse Prevention month.

“April is a time to help people across the country understand the safe, stable, and nurturing relationships and environments are necessary to ensure that children grow up happy and healthy,” says Sandy Runkle, Director of Programs for Prevent Child Abuse Indiana.


Our mission is simple: To be the voice in Indiana for preventing child abuse in all its forms. We practice this mission by raising awareness, serving as a resource for the community, advocating for preventive policies and programs, and fostering a statewide network committed to child abuse prevention. Together with the support of our dedicated volunteers, we’re working to stop child abuse before it begins.

We do not take abuse or neglect reports.

Please contact the

Indiana Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline at


to report suspected child abuse or neglect.

Please do not contact PCAIN regarding concerns or complaints pertaining to DCS.  Indiana has a Bureau of the Ombudsman, and they have “…the authority to receive, investigate and attempt to resolve complaints concerning the actions of the Department of Child Services (DCS) and to make recommendations to improve the child welfare system.  The Bureau operates independently of DCS and is housed in the Department of Administration.”  Contact information is below.

DCS Ombudsman Information Line

877-682-0101 – Toll Free
317-232-3154 – Fax


Put Kids First

There are many ways to support our work. Here are just a few:
Join us in raising awareness. See all our upcoming programs and events.
Events »
Display pinwheels in your community to promote our organization.
Pinwheels for Prevention »
Renewing your license plate? Choose a Kids First plate to support our work.
License Plates »

Find a Local Council

Prevention Councils bring the message of primary prevention to their communities. This grassroots, volunteer-driven effort is helping to keep kids safe across Indiana. Find out more about your local council, and how you can get involved.

Find Your Prevention Council »

Schedule a Training

We offer trainings and other resources to help you understand how to prevent, recognize, and respond appropriately to suspected maltreatment.

See All Trainings »

Safe Tots

Safe Tots touches on a variety of safety issues, including safe sleep practices, water safety, and more.

Learn More »

Stewards of Children

This award-winning program educates adults to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse.

Learn More »


This two-hour training includes a screening of the documentary “Resilience,” followed by a discussion of the film and childhood poverty.

Learn More »

Spread the Word

You can help spread the message of prevention and keep our children safe—and we’ll help you do it. Our brochures and educational materials will make you a more effective advocate for primary prevention.

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