Iowa’s future depends on the safety and well-being of its children. Together, community members and organizations can help ensure safe and nurturing childhoods for youth, leading to a more prosperous society tomorrow. Many factors can influence the likelihood of child abuse. And, while there is no uniform solution to prevention, there are existing programs throughout Iowa, which have resulted in significant long-term improvements for children and families.
Effective child abuse prevention programs help families build “protective factors,” which improve families’ ability to cope with stress and influence overall well-being. The more factors present in families, the more likely a child will grow up in a home free from child abuse and will reach his or her full potential in adulthood. Prevention programs work to increase these protective factors in families and reduce the likelihood of child abuse and neglect.
Research has identified five protective factors that reduce the risk of child abuse:
Nurturing and Attachment
Developing a close bond helps parents relate, respond and communicate with their child.
Knowledge of Parenting and Child Development
Understanding child development can be calming for parents and help parents respond appropriately to a child’s behavior.
Recognizing the signs of stress and enhancing problem-solving skills can improve parents’ capacity to cope.
Identifying a network of family, friends, and neighbors provides parents support in times of need.
Offering parents access to financial, housing, medical, and other resources and services help parents meet their basic needs, so they can focus on their role as parents.
Learn how Prevent Child Abuse Iowa plays a role in prevention and how you can support this effort in this infographic: "How We Prevent Child Abuse in Iowa"
For more information about child abuse prevention programs throughout Iowa or building protective factors, please call (800) CHILDREN.
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