Resiliency During Challenging Times

The Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention (CBCAP) program provides federal funding to all 50 States, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico. The funds are for the implementation of community-based and prevention-focused programs and activities designed to strengthen and support families to prevent child abuse and neglect.

This summary highlights child abuse prevention activities and services implemented during the 2020 funding year for CBCAP State Lead Agencies. To learn more about the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) that guides the program, click here to download the legislation.

In March 2020, almost every aspect of our lives changed due to the emergence of COVID-19. Everything shifted, from in-person events, home visits, and parenting groups to virtual gatherings and drive by pantries and services. On a greater scale, we were met with challenges to our livelihoods, our mental health, and our wellbeing as we tried to keep ourselves, our families, and communities safe and healthy.

Bigger emergencies surfaced in every field, and the world of CBCAP programs and services were no different. CBCAP state leads, and their grantees faced unheard of challenges while they were asked to do more than they ever had. Challenging circumstances required extraordinary change and innovation, and these organizations survived by quick pivots, fast thinking, and a reliance on their mission to support families and communities to prevent child abuse and neglect.

The information shared below provides both a snapshot of services implemented throughout the country and specific state examples of work on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Fathers; Family Resource Centers; and Data Collection Methods.

Data Collection Methods

Four states share how they are using innovative approaches to collect data with program participants, staff, and community members to ensure the prevention services provided are effective while addressing basic needs of children and families to prevent child abuse and neglect.


For the past two years, the Arkansas Children’s Trust Fund has worked with Predict Align Prevent, Inc. (PAP), a non-profit organization, to pilot a geospatial risk and protective factor analysis of child maltreatment in our capital city of Little Rock. In addition to child maltreatment cases, we are plotting the geographic locations of crimes, socioeconomic indicators, environmental characteristics, child and adult deaths, and other social determinants of health. The aim of the analysis is to: predict high-risk places for child maltreatment based on environmental risk and protective features; strategically align services, programs, supports, infrastructure and other resources for vulnerable populations; and establish baselines and actively surveil population-level risk, protective, and outcomes metrics in high-risk places to measure the efficacy of any specific prevention programs implemented in those identified high-risk places, and to inform ongoing prevention efforts. 


As part of the 2019 needs assessment, the Kansas Children’s Cabinet supported the Our Tomorrows story collection project. Using an innovative technology called SenseMaker®, CBCAP grantees and partners across the state gathered stories from individuals to hear, in their words, what it looks like when families are thriving and when they are just surviving. This year, the University of Kansas, Center for Public Partnerships and Research (CPPR) launched Our Tomorrows 2.0, orienting ongoing story collection to the needs of families in the face of crisis. One exciting aspect of SenseMaker® is the ability to isolate data from certain communities and join with the community in making sense of the data. The Children’s Cabinet partnered with CPPR to host a Community Sensemaking workshop with CBCAP grantees to explore the data gathered from Our Tomorrows 2.0. The SenseMaking session focused specifically on analyzing stories pertaining to keeping children safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as key elements of resilience, basic needs, and family life disruptors.

For more information on Our Tomorrowsclick here.


Through ongoing efforts, the Ohio Children’s Trust Fund (OCTF) continued to serve in a leadership role in the identification and prevention of child maltreatment in Ohio.  This most notably occurred through the continued implementation of the OCTF’s regional service delivery model and the completion of further enhancements to the Trust Fund’s Child Well-Being Data Dashboard, which complements Ohio’s eight regional prevention needs assessments. Both the needs assessments and data dashboard provided a glimpse and analysis of the current health and stability of Ohio families as they pertain to the prevention of child abuse and child neglect statewide.  The OCTF will continue to utilize Tableau as the platform to house this dashboard, which allows for easy-to-read displays of data and the ability for the user to interactively compare multiple data sets on one page. The data will continue to be presented in the ecological model used by the OCTF during the need’s assessment process, representing data indicators at the child, family, community, and society level. Click here to learn more.

Beginning in FFY 2020, all service providers transitioned to standardized intake forms and assessment tools across all parent education and support programs, as well as across youth and professional serving programs. These intake forms supported an additional scope of work being included in the updates to the Child Well-Being Data Dashboard, which included a measure to calculate the engagement rate of vulnerable populations being served with OCTF funding. This rate will be generated by comparing various data indicators collected on the intake form to other Ohio population-based surveys and the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.

Additionally, a final component pertaining to the enhancements to the Child Well-Being Data Dashboard project included evaluation of program performance by service providers and types of programs. Through data dashboard views, OCTF staff and regional coordinators can now track outcomes for specific programs across regions and across programs. This feature allows program administrators to engage in conversations to connect service providers, delivering the same programs, to each other to learn from each other’s successes and struggles to achieve better outcomes for families. These dashboards also served to inform continuous quality improvement activities occurring through the regional prevention councils.

South Carolina

In providing trainings that focus on utilizing data to inform prevention efforts, the Children’s Trust of South Carolina created “Stat Chats: Making Data-Driven Decisions Easy.” This three-hour interactive training is intended to guide non-data users in understanding and utilizing relevant data to drive decisions within their work. The training takes a public-health approach to understand why we use data, shares best practices for making data-driven decisions, incorporates race equity and inclusion best practices for working with data, and explains how to tell a story with data to make informed decisions within your organization’s work. Each training includes a step-by-step handout guide for future use, along with group activities for an interactive experience in learning how to make data-driven decisions.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Four states reveal how they are promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion within their CBCAP programs to ensure all children and families have access to services in their states. With the challenges associated with 2020, these states utilized the opportunities to have conversations about equity and inclusion at both the organizational and community levels.

North Carolina

During 2019-20, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services’ Family Support and Respite Program services were required to address how their programs promote, affirm, and strengthen cultural, racial, and linguistic identities of families within their communities. In addition, during monitoring visits, grantees are asked to describe how their programming is culturally competent. Grantees commonly mentioned the following strategies: staff and facilitator training on cultural sensitivity, staff conversations about engagement strategies and cultural differences in meetings, bilingual services, translated written materials, and hiring diverse staff that reflects their community. In addition, agencies intentionally include the family voice by inviting caregivers to serve on committees, workgroups, local boards, and other activities. Having families participate in local planning and governance ensures that programs are being developed that meet the needs of the community. Family and consumer feedback regarding the quality, accessibility, and impact of services can help identify creative solutions for gaps and unmet needs within the system. The spring 2020 civil unrest prompted agencies to increase their dialogue about systemic racism. Agencies reported that they intentionally spent time in staff meetings processing the acts of racial violence that were happening across the nation and creating action steps for change within their agencies and their communities. Agencies also began creating racial equity statements, as well as developing racial and diversity committees made up of staff and caregivers.

South Dakota

The South Dakota Department of Social Services oversees the CBCAP program that leads and directs the CBCAP Advisory Board for the Parenting Education program. The CBCAP Advisory Board promotes services to match cultural diversity with community parenting education as a priority. The CBCAP grant has provided South Dakota with the means and opportunities to provide high-quality training for the course instructors. The Parenting Education Partners continued to adjust Common Sense Parenting (CSP) classes to accommodate individual needs of the adults served. The CSP instructors have been trained to support the variety of individuals who may attend the classes. Instruction is adapted to meet the individual needs of parents. For example, if a parent who has a disability would like to take the CSP class, the trainer could provide the instruction in a one-on-one setting to ensure the individual obtains the maximum benefit from the class materials and education. Accommodations are made for parents with hearing impairments or non-English speaking parents. Additionally, information about the Native American culture and traditions provides a child abuse and prevention platform for understanding and serving Native American parents.


In 2020, the Utah Department of Human Service, Division of Child and Family Services, Child Abuse Prevention Program Administrator participated in formal trainings and national discussions surrounding equity and social justice. The program administrator shared many of these opportunities with prevention providers and facilitated discussions about how to address racism in the child welfare system. Numerous requests for additional conversations surrounding this topic were made. In 2021, the program administrator will be hosting bi-monthly trainings and discussions with the new group of grantees, and the topic of equity and social justice will be a priority.


Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) has made a commitment to looking at programs and policies to ensure that services, practices, and policies are equitable and meet the unique and diverse needs of children and families served. VDSS, in partnership with The Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) and the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance (Action Alliance) is conducting the Underserved Populations Learning Collaborative (UPLC), which is open to all domestic and sexual violence (DV/SV) agencies in Virginia. The mission of the UPLC is to support local domestic and sexual violence programs to become strong allies to underserved populations and to promote access to culturally responsive comprehensive services. The first cohort began in August 2018, with 20 local agencies represented in teams of 3 to 4 people. The agency teams include an Executive Director or Program Director as well as supervisors and advocacy staff. There are three overarching goals for the UPLC which include: Reflection on Internal and External Barriers; Organizational Transformation; and Engaging Underserved Communities/Strategy Building.

Family Resource Centers

Four states share how Family Resource Centers (FRCs) were supported to meet the needs of children and families during the Covid-19 pandemic. The FRCs continued their role in the positive movement to strengthen families and communities with innovative approaches around collecting data to expand services, meeting the needs of families, and reducing the risk of homelessness.

New Hampshire

New Hampshire Children’s Trust’s work with New Hampshire family resources centers (FRC) is instrumental in affecting systemic change, and has, in a brief period, resulted in increased investment of public funding to support the continuation and further expansion of these efforts. During 2020, we supported FRCs with expanded data collection efforts and reporting for the purpose of tracking and evaluating outcomes and impact of services on NH children and families, and we continued to advocate for the inclusion of designated funding for family resource centers in the state’s budget. For example, NH Children’s Trust collaborated with family resource centers to further develop and expand the Kinship Navigation Program. We collected and utilized data to assist providers with supporting the needs of Kinship Navigation Program participants, and to inform advocacy efforts to establish formal benefits and services for kinship families.  New Hampshire is fortunate to have a family resource center embedded in our state prison system, offering parent education and other services to incarcerated parents. To increase outreach and support to this population, we assigned two Kinship Navigators to the Department of Corrections to support families caring for children with incarcerated parents.

New York

The New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) is the lead CBCAP agency and serves New York state’s public by promoting the safety, permanency, and well-being of children, families, and communities. CBCAP funds supported 14 Family Resource Center (FRC) sites in urban, rural, and suburban communities across state. One funded program also included a mobile FRC to provide access to the FRC resources to isolated families in the rural community that had limited public transportation options.  All funded FRCs offer at least one evidence-based parenting education curricula.  For example, a parent with two children has been a part of the Family Resource Center for six years. She has participated in and completed a parenting class, Circle of Security. This parent attends Playgroup Thursdays on a regular basis. Serving as a parent advocate she refers her family, friends, and neighbors to the program.


Vermont’s Child Development Division (CDD) operates within the Department of Children and Families (DCF), Agency of Human Services (AHS) as the CBCAP Lead Agency. Vermont has a long history of utilizing its CBCAP funding to reduce family stress and increase stability by ensuring the availability of concrete supports for families in need, thereby reducing the risk of child maltreatment. The Child Development Division (CDD) continues to award its CBCAP funding to the Parent Child Centers (PCC), a statewide coalition of fifteen community-based family resource centers that provide children, youth, and families with strength-based, holistic, and collaborative services with a focus on early childhood education and prevention. During the COVID period, PCCs became creative with outreach activities. They developed new materials to reflect virtual supports and services and opportunities for concrete support. They called and mailed information to pediatric offices, town clerks, food pantries, and libraries. They developed social media platforms and created local public service announcements for radio and television. One PCC partnered with the League of Women Voters to present information on how to register to vote and what the voting process looked like for families, with a special emphasis on assisting new American families who may be voting for the first time.


The Wisconsin Prevention Board was created by the Wisconsin legislature in 1983 as the agency to lead child abuse prevention efforts in the state. The Prevention Board continues to partner with Family Resource Centers (FRC) that provide parenting services and additional prevention services with homeless shelters. In July 2020, the Prevention Board provided additional funds to FRCs to provide concrete supports including preventing evictions for families at risk of homelessness. From the parent education data, 18% of referrals for parent education services come from homeless shelters. Also 15% of the individuals who participated in parent education were currently homeless and 5% were concerned of losing housing within the next three months.


trainings through unique partnerships such as correctional facilities, community coalitions, and fatherhood leadership skill development.


The Office of Early Childhood (OEC), alongside community partners and current OEC male home visiting staff, facilitated three cohorts of training, specifically for men enrolled within the fatherhood training series at Cybulski Correctional Center. Some of the innovative topics included: effective communication, resiliency and hope, radical Imagination encompassed by support can manifest positive outcomes. Due to Covid-19 restrictions at the Cybulski Correctional Center and Manson Youth Correctional facility, outside staff and volunteers were temporarily not allowed into the facility. Therefore, the OEC purchased SMART boards for each facility, to help anchor on going parenting services. This educational tool will be used two-fold, in which parenting classes will be brought in virtually by paid facilitators and the SMART boards at all correctional facilities will be utilized to help facilitate parenting visits. In this work, we have found that the challenges of working with correctional institutions center primarily on understanding restrictions and DOC regulations in relationship to program planning.  In 2019, staff at the DOC identified space within the visitation area to repurpose as private meeting space for parent-child visits using home visiting curriculum with certified staff.  Supportive partnerships between incarcerated fathers will continue with Fathering Home Visitors within the community upon re-entry.


The Children’s Trust’s Fatherhood Initiative advances evidence-based programs and trainings that support fathers, their families, and the professionals who work with them. At the initiative’s core is the Fathers and Family Network (FFN).  The FFN convenes family support professionals committed to promoting the healthy involvement of fathers at locations across the state. The Fatherhood Initiative also promotes healthy fatherhood involvement through the Nurturing Fathers parent education group and community-based trainings. The Children’s Trust promotes the engagement and support of fathers across all program initiatives. During FY20, the Fatherhood Initiative concentrated its work in three focus areas: community-based training and support (the Fathers and Family Network), group-based parenting education and support (Nurturing Fathers program), and interagency collaboration (Interagency Fatherhood Working Group).  The Children’s Trust continued to expand the Fathers and Family Network (FFN), a collaboration of agencies, organizations and individuals in the family support profession that provide programming and support for fathers. The goal of the FFN is to increase healthy involvement of fathers in the lives of their children by hosting regional network meetings. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the Children’s Trust supported FFN sites to go virtual, using platforms like Zoom.  While there were some drawbacks to the virtual nature of the meetings (no longer space for informal networking), several sites noted an increase in attendance because there was no longer needed to travel to and from meetings.


Missouri’s Children’s Trust Fund (CTF) worked with three father-focused projects during the last reporting period. Fathers and Families Support Center (Father-focused resource center), Focus on Father Network (wrap-around services), and DadLINE Fatherhood Program (24/7 Dad curriculum). The Focus on Fatherhood project is a multi-county comprehensive fatherhood initiative offered by the Randolph County Caring Community Partnership along with the Mid-Missouri Fatherhood Coalition. The program provides parent education and peer support group sessions through two nationally known curriculums, Quenching the Father Thirst designed by the National Center for Fathering, and the Fatherhood Development Curriculum developed by Dr. Jeffrey Johnson, President and CEO of the National Partnership for Community Leadership (NPCL). Fathers and Families Support Center located in St. Louis City offers parenting and life skills training, assistance with GED, accessing education, legal assistance, and job readiness, among other services.


The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) is the CBCAP Lead Agency. The OCDEL continues to use CBCAP to fund fatherhood programs across the state. These fatherhood programs are primarily housed in Family Centers, however two operate as standalone programs within their communities.  The purpose of the Promoting Responsible Fatherhood (PRF) Initiative is to increase the involvement of fathers in the lives of their children; improve parenting knowledge, attitude, and skills; increase fathers’ education level and job skills; increase the financial support provided by non-custodial fathers; and provide encouragement and support for fathers as positive role models.

During 2020 twenty-one PRF program sites in twenty counties received CBCAP funds. Grantees focused on how to engage fathers and increase their involvement in case planning for their children. Many of the PRF programs employ a prevention model that identified and mitigated the areas of concern that placed fathers and their families at risk of becoming involved with child welfare. For example, some programs assisted fathers to obtain employment while other programs empowered fathers to develop ways to increase participation in their families. Other grantees focused on child abuse prevention programs and education or culturally sensitive topics regarding family dynamics and cultural traditions.  One positive trend is that staff and leadership value the role a father provides for his children. At the Columbia County Family Center (CCFC) a quarterly fatherhood event is offered with reading incentive programs promoted to engage more fathers. During the COVID-19 pandemic, additional fathers became involved with services. The fathers had additional free time which allowed them to take a more active role in services.

Rhode Island

Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) has continued to partner with Parent Support Network (PSN) on the Rhode Island Fatherhood Initiative (RIFI). The RIFI has an interagency state leadership team with strong father leadership committed to developing and sustaining activities that promote father inclusion in state policies and practices for Rhode Island children and families. This state team has been working with the National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI) Community Mobilization Action (CMA) approach for our strategic planning process over the last year and now has a strategic action plan outline with goals and priority action steps.  During this last year PSN employed 5 Father Partners who served fathers with individual and group services to support their involvement with their child and family, and their own recovery and wellness. All 5 Father Partner staff participated in The Family Nurturing Center of Massachusetts (FNC) and the United Way of Greater Plymouth County 3-Day Nurturing Fathers’ Facilitator Training online.

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