15 Aug Top 3 Things Community Members Can Do to Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect
Preventing child abuse and neglect seems like a daunting task, leaving us asking, “where do we start?” The reality is that achieving Face It’s goal of ending child abuse and neglect is possible if we all come together with the same vision: keep our kids safe so they can thrive.
It starts within the community. We are all members of a community, whether that’s our neighborhood, church, child’s school, or just out and about in our hometown. Understanding that child abuse and neglect can occur in any zip code and within any family can help us realize that keeping kids safe, and supporting familes, really is up to all of us.
Here a few ideas for how you can play a role in preventing child abuse and neglect in your community:
1. Explore and promote prevention resources.
Kids need strong families to grow and thrive safely, and families need supportive communities to lean on when tough times come. Parents, grandparents, other caregivers, educators, grocery store clerks, pediatricians, social workers, coaches, librarians, faith leaders, police officers — all of us can play a role in preventing abuse or neglect from ever happening to begin with.
Face It offers free resources on ways to connect with your child, how to talk to them about body safety and boundaries, how to heal and thrive after experiencing traumas, how to choose a safe caregiver, and much more. View all resources here.
2. Know the signs and how to report child abuse.
Kids are kids, and sometimes they play in ways that result in minor cuts, scrapes, and bruises. These minor injuries are often found on bony areas of the body like knees, shins, elbows, and foreheads. However, there are other types of bruises that can be a red flag for adults who interact with them.
Every adult in Kentucky is a mandated reporter of child abuse and neglect, and your report could be the one that makes a difference. Call your local law enforcement agency or 911 if the situation is a life-threatening emergency.
IF YOU SUSPECT ABUSE OR NEGLECT, CALL THE CHILD PROTECTION HOTLINE AT 1-877-KYSAFE1 OR 1-877-597-2331.
Find information on how to report abuse in states surrounding Kentucky here.
3. Regularly check in on your neighbors and friends who are parents.
Raising little humans is a tough job! Building relationships with our neighbors and friends who are also parents or caregivers helps us normalize our experiences and allows us to laugh about the funny things our kids said, commiserate when times are tough, and share parenting advice when asked. When we know our neighbors, we know who the parents are, and can reach out to offer to help or simply check in on them.
With this network, we’re able to offer simple moments of help, like watching the kiddos for 15 minutes while they grab a gallon of milk from the grocery or taking the trash cans up when you know they’ve had a jam packed day. Also, treasure those kid-free moments with your fellow parents, too. Talk about things other than the kids over a cup of coffee on the front porch.
Something as simple as lending an ear to a parent or caregiver can help reduce their stress. Even the smallest kind gestures can make a giant impact.