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Why is the prevention of child abuse and neglect important?
  • All children deserve great childhoods
    • Children who are raised in loving and supportive environments are more likely to grow up and help create secure, healthy communities and be more productive, prosperous workers.
    • Children who are raised in stable families do better academically, are shown to be more financially successful and contribute more to society.
  • We all have a role to play in making sure that our community is the best place for children and families to thrive.
    • There are simple actions each of us can take every day to help reduce family isolation and stress, which are two of the major risk factors of child abuse and neglect.
    • Such actions include making yourself known to new neighbors and families, volunteering your time at pre- or post-school programs, or providing time for parents to have an occasional break from the rigors of parenthood.
  • Great childhoods, and healthy, productive futures, are undermined by Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).
    • ACEs include things like child abuse (including physical, sexual and emotional), neglect, parental stress, divorce, parental unemployment, parental mental illness or addiction.
    • Over half of Kansans have experienced at least one ACE, and one in eight have experienced at least four or more ACEs during their childhood. The greater number of ACEs increases the risk of long term adverse consequences.
    • Reducing ACEs leads to positive long-term outcomes for children and communities, including lowering risk for serious health complications and helping children grow into more prosperous and productive adults.
  • Implementing effective policies and strategies to prevent child abuse and neglect can save taxpayers $124 billion annually. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

What works in the prevention of child abuse and neglect?
  • Prevention strategies are most effective when collaboration occurs between public and private agencies. (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)
  • When families are supported, children are less likely to be at risk for child maltreatment and more likely to grow up happy and healthy. (Prevent Child Abuse America)
  • Children do well when their parents do well. Supporting families and ensuring parents have the knowledge, skills, and resources they need are effective ways to protect children from the risk of child abuse and neglect. (Prevent Child Abuse America)
  • Programs that work increase protective factors of families. Protective factors are conditions in families and communities that, when present, increase the health and well-being of children and families. (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)
    • Strengthening parental resilience to stress
    • Building social connections
    • Enhancing knowledge of parenting and of child development
    • Concrete support in times of need
    • Promoting nurturing and parent-child attachment

Examples of programs and services that work are:
  • Early home visitation programs such as Healthy Families, Early Head Start and Parents As Teachers.
  • Period of PURPLE Crying®, an evidence-based Shaken Baby Syndrome prevention program.
  • Quality child care and early education.
  • Services and centers providing family support such as parent education and parent support groups.
  • Media and public education campaigns.
  • Specialized services for families involved with substance abuse, domestic violence, and mental health issues.
  • Efforts to strengthen supportive neighborhoods and neighbors such as the work of the Wichita Coalition for Child Abuse Prevention.

What’s KCSL’s role in the prevention of child abuse and neglect?
KCSL is the Kansas chapter for Prevent Child Abuse America, a national organization working to end child abuse and neglect of our nation’s children. In a recent re-chartering review, KCSL received 386 out of 390 possible points making it the highest ranking PCAA chapter in the nation.
  • KCSL sponsors Healthy Families programs in 23 Kansas counties. Healthy Families is a home visitation program that provides supports to struggling families of young children.
  • KCSL offers Early Head Start in three Western Kansas counties. Early Head Start is a home visitation program for income eligible families.
  • KCSL offers the statewide Parent Helpline (1-800-CHILDREN), a 24/7 resource and referral service for children, families and professionals.
  • KCSL coordinates the statewide effort to bring The Period of PURPLE Crying® to families of newborns. The program is an evidence-based prevention program offered by the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome
  • Annually, KCSL presents the Governor’s Conference for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect, a three-day event recognized as the most comprehensive conference of the subject of the prevention of child maltreatment. Each year some 600 participants attend the conference.
  • April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. Each year, KCSL coordinates statewide activities and offers support to local community efforts to raise awareness about the need for services that help keep children safe and families strong.
  • KCSL directs the Community Resource Library, a free-of-charge service offering a range of child and family related materials.
  • KCSL sponsors a statewide network of support groups for parents, grandparents and other caregivers raising children. These support groups are designed to connect families with the support and resources they need to succeed. We are the Kansas Chapter for Circle of Parents
  • KCSL provides support and expertise to the Statewide Parent Leadership initiative. Each year, we coordinate the committee that presents the Statewide Parent Leadership Conference and assist with the Statewide Parent Leadership Advisory Council.
  • KCSL coordinates the Wichita Coalition for Child Abuse Prevention. This is a collective impact group, which has over 116 representatives from 65 organizations that formed to create and carry out prevention initiatives as a community response to the cluster of eight child abuse fatalities in 2008.

Additional Fact Sheets are available for specific services and locations: Please contact Dona Booe to request these.
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