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The Role of Professional Child Care Providers in Preventing and Responding to Child Abuse and Neglect
Office on Child Abuse and Neglect, Children's Bureau. Karageorge, Kathy, Kendall, Rosemary|
|Year Published: 2008|
Appendix I: Family Support Strategies1
Child care providers can support families in building family strengths and in preventing child maltreatment by:
- Facilitating friendships and mutual support. Offer opportunities for parents to get to know each other, develop mutual support systems, and have roles at the center, as appropriate. This may include potlucks or volunteer opportunities.
- Strengthening parenting. Develop ways for parents to get support on parenting issues when they need it. Possibilities include tip sheets, provider-parent meetings, and resource libraries.
- Responding to family crises. Offer extra support to families when they need it, such as in times of illness, job loss, housing problems, or other stressors.
- Valuing and supporting parents. The relationship between parents and staff is essential to a program's ability to connect with parents. The support, training, and supervision of staff are essential to help them do this effectively.
- Facilitating children's social and emotional development. Some programs use curricula that specifically focus on helping children articulate their feelings and get along with others. When children bring home what they learn in the classroom, parents benefit as well.
- Observing and responding to early warning signs of child maltreatment. Train staff to observe children carefully and to respond at the first sign of difficulty. Early intervention can help ensure children are safe and that parents get the support and services they need.
- Making referrals to other services or professionals as needed. For example, suggest that parents speak to their child's doctor about any concerns, frustrations, or questions regarding their child's behavior or development or connect the family with community service providers.
1 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families. (2006). Safe children and healthy families are a shared responsibility: 2006 community resource packet [On-line]. Available: http://www.childwelfare.gov/preventing/pdfs/prev_packet_2006_en.pdf; Center for the Study of Social Policy. (2004). Protecting children by strengthening families: A guidebook for early childhood programs [On-line]. Available: http://www.cssp.org/uploadFiles/handbook.pdf. back
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