What is Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect

What is Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention?

Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention or CBCAP refers to specific types of child abuse prevention programs that exist in every state in the United States. They support efforts mainly focused on primary prevention of child abuse and neglect.

What is child abuse and neglect?

Child abuse and neglect is any mistreatment or neglect of a child that results in non-accidental harm or injury and which cannot be reasonably explained. Child abuse and neglect can include physical abuse, emotional abuse, and sexual abuse.

What prevention activities are funded around the country?

States are involved in many prevention activities, some of which fall under CBCAP funding and some that fall under other Federal programs. CBCAP includes activities that work with the community and families to prevent child abuse and neglect. Examples include public awareness campaigns, home visiting programs for new parents, diversion programs for at-risk families, and parent support groups. Most professionals agree that there are three levels of prevention services; primary prevention, secondary prevention, and tertiary prevention. Primary and Secondary are allowable activities under CBCAP funding, while Tertiary activities are not funded under CBCAP dollars.

Primary Prevention

Primary prevention consists of activities that are targeted toward the community at large. These activities are meant to impact families before any allegations of abuse and neglect. Primary prevention services include public education activities, parent education classes that are open to anyone in the community, and family support programs. Primary prevention can be challenging to measure because you are attempting to impact something before it happens, an unknown variable. This type of activity is a focus of CBCAP programs.

Secondary Prevention

Secondary prevention consists of activities targeted to families that have one or more risk factors, including families with substance abuse, teen parents, parents of special needs children, single parents, and low-income families. Secondary prevention services include parent education classes targeted for high-risk parents, respite care for parents of a child with a disability, or home visiting programs for new parents.

Tertiary Prevention

Tertiary prevention consists of activities targeted at families that have confirmed or unconfirmed child abuse and neglect reports. These families have already demonstrated the need for intervention, either with or without court supervision. These are families that qualify for services under child protection programs and are not a focus of CBCAP programs.

What is FRIENDS role in the prevention community?

FRIENDS is the training and technical assistance provider for CBCAP State Lead Agencies and set-aside grantees. FRIENDS works in conjunction with national experts in the field of prevention. We work as a conduit for the dissemination of practice information to the prevention community and serve on various workgroups to promote the prevention of child abuse and neglect.

Where can I find out more information on prevention?

The prevention section of the Child Welfare Information Gateway is a great resource.

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