National Child Abuse Prevention Month (April 2017)
April was first declared Child Abuse Prevention Month by presidential proclamation in 1983. Since then, April has been a time to acknowledge the importance of families and communities working together to prevent child abuse. In Child Maltreatment 2015 (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children's Bureau) it was reported that in FFY 2015 in the fifty states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, an estimated 683,000 children were victims of child abuse or neglect; and 1,670 children died as a result of abuse or neglect. The majority of child abuse cases stemmed from situations and conditions that can be preventable when community programs and systems are engaged and supportive. A community that cares about early childhood development, parental support, and maternal mental health, for instance, is more likely to foster nurturing families and healthy children.
A body of research has identified factors known to prevent and reduce child abuse and neglect. These factors—including parental resilience, nurturing and attachment, social connections, knowledge about parenting and child development, social and emotional competence of children, and concrete supports for parents—are outlined in Preventing Child Maltreatment and Promoting Well-Being: A Network for Action 2017 Resource Guide, also developed by the Children's Bureau.
In recognition of the collaborations needed to help prevent child abuse and neglect, the NCTSN has compiled a list of resources for advocates and policy makers, children and adolescents, educators, families and communities, and mental health and child welfare professionals.
- Featured NCTSN Products
- For Advocates and Policy Makers
- For Children and Adolescents
- For Educators
- For Families and Communities
- For Law Enforcement Personnel
- For Mental Health and Child Welfare Professionals
- Other Resources
Caring for Kids: What Parents Need to Know about Sexual Abuse (2009) (PDF)
Cuidando a los Niños: Folleto Informativo sobre el Abuso Sexual Infantil (2012) (PDF)
Provides information on supporting children who have been abused. Includes resources for parents and teens about acquaintance rape, and tools to help youth reduce their risk for abuse. An accompanying presentation (Caring for Kids: What Parents Need to Know about Sexual Abuse—An NCTSN Webinar) is also available through NCTSN's Learning Center for Child and Adolescent Trauma.
Child Physical Abuse Fact Sheet (2009) (PDF)
Explains the prevalence and consequences of child physical abuse; offers guidance on how to recognize and help children who are being physically abused.
Physical Punishment: What Parents Should Know (2009) (PDF)
Provides facts on the negative impact of physical punishment and effective alternatives to physically disciplining children.
Raising Well-Behaved Kids: What Parents Should Know (2009) (PDF)
Offers positive, proven techniques for changing problem behaviors in children, and for setting the tone for a peaceful and happy home.
Child Sexual Abuse Fact Sheet for Parents, Teachers, and Other Caregivers (2007) (PDF)
Debunks some common myths about child sexual abuse, provides suggestions for how to respond to abuse disclosure, and offers tips to help protect children from sexual abuse.
Child Welfare Trauma Training Toolkit (2013) (PDF)
Designed for professionals working with children in the child welfare system who have experienced traumatic stress. Provides basic information; teaches skills and values; and provides suggestions for how to support children's safety, permanency, and well-being. Includes case analyses and corresponding interventions tailored for these children and their biological and resource (foster) families.
NCTSN Child Maltreatment and Domestic Violence in Military and Veteran Families
This series focuses on programs for military families and children that aim to prevent and intervene in cases of child abuse/neglect and domestic violence.
NCTSN Child Physical Abuse Speaker Series
A series of presentations by many of the top experts in the field. Topics include engagement strategies, assessment, cultural and systems issues, and evidence-based interventions for families in which there has been known or suspected child physical abuse. Sponsored by NCTSN’s Physical Abuse Collaborative Group.
Questions & Answers About Child Physical Abuse (2008) (PDF)
Answers from David Kolko, PhD, a Network member and child physical abuse expert, to questions commonly asked about child physical abuse.
What You Expect from Treatment: Building Strong Parent-Child Relationships (2012) (PDF)
Guilt, blame, and shame are natural reactions to family conflict and aggression, but these responses are not productive. This fact sheet focuses on helping families find constructive approaches to reducing family conflict focus on building stronger relationships between parents and their children.
- Child Maltreatment Annual Reports: Reports from the States to the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data Systems – National Statistics on Child Abuse and Neglect
A webpage providing access to reports from 1995 through 2013.
- Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect: A Technical Package for Policy, Norm, and Programmatic Activities (2016) (PDF)
This technical package represents a select group of strategies based on the best available evidence to help prevent child abuse and neglect.
- Realizing the Promise of Home Visitation: Addressing Domestic Violence and Child Maltreatment. A Guide for Policy Makers (2010) (PDF)
Highlights the importance of addressing domestic violence within the context of home visits, makes the connection between domestic violence and home visitation program goals, and describes the overlap between domestic violence and child maltreatment. Includes descriptions of innovative home visitation programs that address domestic violence; offers practice recommendations for integrating domestic violence into home visiting.
- New Directions in Child Abuse and Neglect Research (2013)
The report examines research findings on the extent, causes, and consequences of child abuse and neglect and the effectiveness of intervention programs. It also provides recommendations for establishing a coordinated national infrastructure to support future child abuse and neglect research.
A national nonprofit that helps abused, neglected, and at-risk children. Focuses on advocacy, prevention, treatment, and community outreach.
- Help for Kids
Offers help to children who are being abused via 24/7 access to the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline. Children can talk to trained professional counselors through translators in 140 languages. All calls are anonymous and toll-free: 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453). Includes facts kids need to know and advice on how to protect themselves from abuse.
- How to Handle Abuse
Describes types of abuse and offers advice on how children can tell someone if they are being abused.
- What Is Abuse?
Describes types of abuse, how to recognize it, and its effects. Includes resources teens can turn to for help.
The Role of Educators in Preventing and Responding to Child Abuse and Neglect (2003) (PDF)
A manual for teachers, school counselors, school social workers, school nurses, special education professionals, administrators, and other school personnel. Focuses on skills and programs that help educators recognize and report child maltreatment to prevent abuse and neglect from occurring, continuing, or recurring.
Speak Up Be Safe
A new school-based child abuse prevention education program (formerly Good Touch Bad Touch) that focuses on child safety. The program is research based, and culturally and developmentally appropriate.
- Supporting Teachers, Strengthening Families
An initiative for early childhood educators to assist them in preventing child abuse and neglect, and in promoting children's healthy social and emotional development. Focuses on activities that promote and support family-strengthening strategies that can be used in early childhood programs and by individual professionals.
- Early Childhood Educators and Child Abuse Prevention: Perspective, Findings, Actions (2003) (PDF)
A report that summarizes national research by the NAEYC on early childhood educators' attitudes about their roles in preventing and reporting child abuse and neglect.
- Positive Parenting Tips
Guides discuss developmental milestones, and offer tips on positive parenting (for ages 0–17) and on keeping children safe. Information includes identification of specific conditions, data and statistics, research, free materials, multimedia and tools, and links to other websites. Available in English and Spanish.
"Connects child welfare and related professionals to comprehensive information and resources to help protect children and strengthen families.”
- Long-Term Consequences of Child Abuse and Neglect (2013) (PDF)
This factsheet explains the long-term physical, psychological, behavioral, and societal consequences of child abuse and neglect.
- Parent Education to Strengthen Families and Reduce the Risk of Maltreatment (2013) (PDF)
This issue brief provides an overview of research regarding some key characteristics and training strategies of successful parent education programs for strengthening families and preventing child maltreatment. Information about selected evidence-based and evidence-informed parent education programs.
- Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect (2013) (PDF)
Fact sheet provides information on how communities and individual citizens can strengthen families, protect children, and prevent child abuse and neglect.
- Help for Parents
Offers access to the National Child Abuse Hotline for parents of children who are being abused. Trained counselors are available 24/7, with communication in 140 languages through translators. All calls are anonymous and toll-free: 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453). Also offers resources on parenting including dealing with difficult behavior, setting limits, using time-out effectively, and safety.
- About Child Abuse
Describes child abuse and the four major forms: physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, and emotional abuse. Offers advice on identifying child abuse, dealing with the aftereffects, resources for help, reporting child abuse, and much more.
- Parenting and Adult Survivor/Self-Help Reading List
Includes a list of books on parenting, and on adult survivors and self-help; a link to a 29-page list of books on abuse prevention and abuse aftermath; and a link to websites on child abuse and effective parenting.
List of parenting tip sheets.
The mission of the National Center is to “to educate and train parents and professionals, and to conduct research that will prevent the shaking and abuse of infants in the USA”. Includes a link to Period of Purple Crying website which provides information to help parents soothe a crying baby.
- Recognizing When a Child’s Injury or Illness Is Caused by Abuse (2014) (PDF)
This guide can help first-responders and investigators distinguish between types of injuries and differentiate between injuries that result from child abuse and those that are accidental.
- Child Exposure to Trauma: Comparative Effectiveness of Interventions Addressing Maltreatment (2013) (PDF)
The report examines the comparative effectiveness of interventions designed to address the negative outcomes associated with child maltreatment.
A nonprofit national organization that supports professionals who serve children and families affected by child maltreatment and violence.
“Connects child welfare and related professionals to comprehensive information and resources to help protect children and strengthen families.”
- Preventing Child Maltreatment and Promoting Well-Being: A Network for Action 2017 Resource Guide (PDF)
Designed to support service providers in their work with parents, caregivers, and children to strengthen families and to prevent child abuse and neglect. Focuses on “six important factors that have been shown to protect children from the risk of abuse and neglect. Information about these protective factors is augmented with tools and strategies for integrating these factors into existing community programs and systems.”
- Tools for Evaluating Prevention Programs
Lists resources to identify evaluation tools and strategies for measuring the success of child abuse prevention programs, including state and local examples
Help for Professionals
Offers access to the National Child Abuse Hotline for professionals working with children who are being abused. Trained professional counselors are available 24/7, with communication in 140 languages through translators. All calls are anonymous and toll-free: 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453). Callers can discuss signs and symptoms of abuse, get help on deciding a course of action to take when abuse is suspected, learn what to expect when reporting child abuse, and access contact information for local reporting agencies.
Child Physical and Sexual Abuse: Guidelines for Treatment (2004) (PDF)
Provides guidelines developed by a national advisory committee of clinicians, researchers, educators, and administrators on evidence-based practices for treating children who are survivors of physical and sexual abuse. Includes a discussion of child-focused, parent-child, and family interventions; addresses treatments for offenders. Treatment of offenders is also addressed.
Emotional Child Abuse Fact Sheet (PDF)
Defines emotional child abuse; discusses how it is identified, why it happens, and its consequences; describes potential perpetrators, victim assistance measures, and prevention efforts.
Preventing Child Emotional Abuse
Defines emotional abuse. Discusses PCA America’s work on advocating for raising public awareness; increasing the availability of mental health services; and promoting research, training, and public education on the topic. Presents statistics on the consequences.
- The National Criminal Justice Reference Service has posted “Special Feature: Child Abuse,” a compilation of publications and resources on the prevalence, prevention, and responses to child abuse.