Ways You Can Help End Child Maltreatment
- Know how to report child abuse and neglect in your state.
- Learn more about foster care in your state. Consider becoming a foster parent to a child in need.
- Help raise public awareness of child abuse and neglect, its signs and prevelance in your community and in the United States.
- Become a mentor to an at risk child.
- Get involved in helping reduce the incidence of one of the risk factors associated with child abuse and neglect (listed above)
- Volunteer your time or professional services to help children who have been victims of abuse or neglect or to assist prevention programs in your community.
- Advocate for "family friendly" workplace policies.
- Train religious and lay leaders to recognize the signs and symptoms of child abuse and neglect.6
- Sponsor a self-help, parent education or support group, or allow such a group to meet at your parish center.6
- Collect baby care products and clothes for new parents.6 Present a care package to parishioners who have recently become parents.
- Sponsor after school programs for children who would otherwise be home alone.6 Encourage parishioners to volunteer their time and talents.
- Have your pro-life group organize a mentoring program or organize parishioner participation in a local mentoring program that pairs responsible adults with children.
- Make sure information about child abuse and neglect, (including types of maltreatment, signs, symptoms, hotlines and local reporting procedures) is available in the back of church and in your parish center.
- Make information about child development, parental stress and community resources for parents easily available.6
- Have your pro-life group host an information session on foster care and invite parishioners and the local community to attend. Have a someone knowledgeable on the subject talk about the procedures and requirements in your state. Invite people who are currently fostering a child or who have done so in the past to share their experiences. Encourage your parishioners to reflect on whether or not they are being called to be foster parents and distribute questions to ask yourself and fact sheets.
- Develop a parish program to address one of the risk factors listed above, such as unemployment, substance abuse, domestic violence or poverty.
- Host a periodic educational session for new parents on normal child development and methods of behavior management. Include such a class as part of your marriage preparation classes.
According to the Child Welfare Information Gateway, "as the number of parents working outside the home continues to grow, the need increases for workplace policies that support family functioning and promote the prevention of child maltreatment." Some of their suggested family-focused initiatives for the workplace include:
- Flexible work schedules and other "family friendly" policies that help employees to balance the demands of their work and parental commitments
- Parental leave policies that reduce stress on new parents and help facilitate positive attachments between parents and their infants
- Employer-supported child care
- Family-oriented policies that support healthy and humane working conditions and ensure adequate family income
- Employee assistance programs that can provide information on reducing stress
Have questions or need help?
Child Maltreatment Information