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Child Abuse & Neglect Frequently Asked Question #8

Published: September 16, 2012
Child Abuse & Neglect


How can I prevent child abuse in my community?


The Office on Child Abuse and Neglect (OCAN), a division of the Children’s Bureau, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), takes the Federal lead in the effort to educate individuals and communities about how to prevent child abuse and neglect.

Generally, child abuse and neglect prevention activities focus on four main areas:

  • Creating and distributing public awareness material and information.
  • Developing and using skills-based curricula to teach children to recognize and resist child abuse.
  • Conducting parent education and parent support programs.
  • Providing home visitation programs for families at risk.

The Office on Child Abuse and Neglect sponsors a Child Abuse Prevention Initiative to raise awareness of the issue in a much more visible and comprehensive way than ever before. The Prevention Initiative is an opportunity to work together in communities across the country to keep children safe, provide the support families need to stay together, and raise children and youth to be happy, secure, and stable adults. For more information, visit the Prevention Initiative website at http://www.childwelfare.gov/preventing/. This site has many resources and suggestions to help you support prevention activities in your community.

Neighborhood strengthening activities that help parents find needed resources and support in their communities also are an important part of prevention. You may want to contact a neighborhood resource center or your local social services/child welfare agency for information regarding local programs that welcome volunteers. For a complete listing of State Child Welfare Agency Websites, please see http://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/reslist/rl_dsp_website.cfm?rs_ID=16&....

Child Welfare Information Gateway, a service of the Children’s Bureau, has related web sections that may be of interest to you. Please see Child Abuse & Neglect at http://www.childwelfare.gov/can/, Preventing Child Abuse & Neglect at http://www.childwelfare.gov/preventing/, and Responding to Child Abuse & Neglect at  http://www.childwelfare.gov/responding/.