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Position Statements and Resolutions

Position Statements

We take an official position on issues vital to the well-being of our nation's children and families.

These position statements and resolutions formalize our viewpoint on public policies and issues that pertain to the prevention of child abuse and neglect. They provide a framework for our staff as it performs such activities as responding to legislation, the media, and judicial proceedings, as well as participating in public activities or events.

We have six position statements which speak to issues core to our mission. Five of these statements were updated and approved by the Prevent Child Abuse America Board of Directors in 2010, and the statement on Bullying/Peer Abuse was approved in May, 2014.

Preventing Bullying / Peer Abuse
Position Statement (PDF)

Promoting Child Development by Supporting Families
Position Statement (PDF)
Fact Sheet (PDF)

Preventing Child Physical Abuse
Position Statement (PDF)
Fact Sheet (PDF)

Preventing Child Neglect
Position Statement (PDF)
Fact Sheet (PDF)

Preventing Child Sexual Abuse
Position Statement (PDF)
Fact Sheet (PDF)

Preventing Child Emotional Abuse
Position Statement (PDF)
Fact Sheet (PDF)

Overview of the Five Position Statements (PDF)

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Resolutions

We also have a body of resolutions that provide recommendations on public policies that are central but not core to Prevent Child Abuse America's mission.

Early Childhood Development (PDF)
Prevent Child Abuse America supports directing significant resources to children ages 0-5, the period most critical to human development. We support implementing and evaluating programs and services that start at birth, such as voluntary home visitation, parent education and information and early childhood education programs.

Family Economic Stability and Its Link to Child Welfare (PDF)
Prevent Child Abuse America supports providing services aimed at reducing poverty and fostering economic stability. Such services include education and vocational training, substance abuse rehabilitation, housing services, health insurance, domestic violence counseling, and child welfare services, among others to help bring low-income families to self-sufficiency. We also support adding poverty reduction as one of the purposes of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and broadening the set of activities that fulfill TANF work requirements to include mental health and substance abuse treatment, parent support groups, and home-visiting programs and related family support programs.

Parent Mutual Self-Help Support Groups (PDF)
Prevent Child Abuse America supports implementing and evaluating mutual self-help support groups that are free, confidential, anonymous, non-judgmental, and promote positive, non-abusive parenting and parent leadership. We support building public awareness of the benefits of parent support groups, such as Circle of Parents, in preventing child abuse and neglect.

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Pediatric and Primary Care Professionals and their Role in Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect (PDF)
Prevent Child Abuse America supports an on-going relationship between primary care professionals and parents, whereby pediatricians can monitor and guide developmental progress, address parental concerns, and support parental care, capacities and needs. We also support the implementation and evaluation of services, such as STAGES, which help pediatricians and primary care professionals learn how to communicate better with parents and work with community-based prevention programs to learn about resources available to families.

Prenatal Care (PDF)
Prevent Child Abuse America supports funding and research for programs that promote early prenatal care, prenatal bonding activities, maternal stress reduction techniques, and parent education, including voluntary home visiting services that provide support to pregnant women and their families throughout pregnancy and beyond. We also support implementing accessible and affordable classes through hospitals, clinics, and other medical establishments that educate pregnant women and expectant fathers on how best to care for expectant mothers.

Sexual Solicitation of Youth on the Internet (PDF)
Prevent Child Abuse America supports educating parents and children about the risks associated with online communication, and teaching parents how to protect their children from the covert techniques used by sexual solicitors on the Internet. We also support educating the public on how and where to report cases of sexual solicitation and providing mental health services, medical attention and tools to help avoid future victimization to those who have suffered mentally and/or physically from sexual solicitation.

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Child Care (PDF)
Prevent Child Abuse America supports making high-quality child care affordable and accessible to all families. Prevent Child Abuse America  also supports the provision of child care-related education and livable wages to child care workers in order to build a more qualified, stable and better-paid workforce.

Corporal Punishment (PDF)
Prevent Child Abuse America supports banning, in every state, the use of corporal punishment against children in all schools and institutions. Prevent Child Abuse America also advocates for providing initial and ongoing training to all teachers and staff on alternative means of discipline.

Domestic Violence (PDF)
Prevent Child Abuse America supports the development of comprehensive, community-based prevention and intervention programs that seek to prevent family violence and support parents. Prevent Child Abuse America  also supports advocacy efforts to increase funding for domestic violence agencies, and to coordinate services among such agencies, the child protection system, and the family and criminal court systems.

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Early Hospital Discharge of Mothers and Newborns (PDF)
Prevent Child Abuse America supports allowing parents and their doctors determine the length of post-pregnancy stay and additional postpartum visits, based on the health and stability of the baby and the parent's confidence and ability to care for the child.

Gun Safety (PDF)
Prevent Child Abuse America supports using safety devices on guns, educating parents and children about the risks of having guns in the home as well as the importance of gun safety measures, and encouraging parents to inquire about the presence of firearms in homes their children visit.

Home Visiting (PDF)
Prevent Child Abuse America supports making home visiting services available on a voluntary basis to expectant parents and families with newborns and young children to promote positive parenting skills and healthy child development, and to prevent child abuse and neglect.

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Judicial Proceedings (PDF)
Prevent Child Abuse America supports revising courtroom procedures to make them less intimidating to the child. These revisions include: allowing the child's testimony to be videotaped, reducing the size of the courtroom audience, using hearsay evidence in preliminary hearings and/or asking the defendant to leave the room during a child's testimony. Prevent Child Abuse America  also supports fostering multidisciplinary collaborations, such as child advocacy centers, which offer legal, medical and mental health services to children who are victims of maltreatment.

Therapeutic Care for Victims of Child Abuse (PDF)
In order to break the cycle of child abuse, Prevent Child Abuse America supports efforts to offer diagnostic, therapeutic, and remedial services to child abuse victims and their families. Prevent Child Abuse America also supports research and evaluation projects that aim at determining the effectiveness of such services with regard to victims of different ages, cultural backgrounds, and circumstances.

Use of Addictive Substances During Pregnancy (PDF)
Prevent Child Abuse America supports educating expectant parents about the risks of drug, alcohol, and tobacco use during pregnancy, and fostering collaboration among child abuse advocates and substance abuse experts in order to address the issue of pregnancy and addiction.

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Violence in the Media (PDF)
Prevent Child Abuse America supports reductions in the amount of violence depicted in all forms of media, including but not limited to television, feature films, computer and video games, and music lyrics and videos. Prevent Child Abuse America  also supports ongoing collaboration among parents, educators, advocacy groups, broadcasters and government in order to create additional hours of programming depicting positive, nonviolent themes in media.

Bullying (PDF)
Prevent Child Abuse America supports encouraging all schools to create and implement an anti-bullying policy to promote a safe learning environment for all children.

On Mandatory Reporting by Clergy Suspected of Abuse (PDF)
Prevent Child Abuse America supports that no state should exempt clergy from laws that mandate the reporting of suspected child abuse except in cases of the clergy/penitent relationship as may be allowed by state law.

On Religious Exemptions to Child Abuse/Neglect (PDF)
Prevent Child Abuse America supports repealing religious exemptions in medical situations that are life-threatening or potentially disabling to a child.

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Current news

Healthy Sexuality, a National Dialogue and Josh Duggar

 

Healthy Sexuality, a National Dialogue and Josh Duggar

CHICAGO, IL, May 29, 2015 – As the details around the Josh Duggar story continue to make their way into the forum of public opinion, we would like to ask people to take a step back and pause for a moment.

Why is this?

Because the Josh Duggar story is a learning moment for everyone who believes that children deserve great childhoods, as well as a moment to discuss what we teach our children about healthy sexuality when we teach them about sex.

As the Duggar story reflects, parents must find the comfort, courage and resources to have an open dialogue with their children about sexuality.

And why is this? Because:

- If something goes wrong, as it did here, children need language and permission to be able to seek help. 

- Youngsters, especially boys, need to learn early that sexual arousal is an autonomic response – a reflex caused by a thought, a memory or a touch – and that experiencing arousal does not mean that they need to act on it.

- Unchecked curiosity about sexual anatomy can lead a child of either gender to “explore” other children. 

Once we know this, what else do we need to understand?

We need to understand that adolescents are naturally lacking in empathy, and that their ability to comprehend that their behavior causes a feeling in another person is not fully developed.

Further, for many adolescents, their arousal (or curiosity) is the only thing that matters to them, and the fact that their victims have feelings is far from their frame of mind.

And why is this important?     

Because when parents, schools and faith-based agencies embrace this, they can focus on the type of social emotional learning that emphasizes empathy.

So once we know these things, where can we go from here?

While we don’t want to underestimate the pain caused to the victims in this story, or others like it, neither do we want to demonize an adolescent. Our country developed an entire juvenile justice system based on the knowledge that juveniles do not have the fully formed capacity to make informed and rational decisions. We also know that adolescents showing this type of behavior have a very positive prognosis after intervention.

So, rather than debating what should happen now, let’s take a moment and encourage families, all families, to promote sexual health, safety and open lines of discussion in their homes, and prevent this from ever occurring in the first place.  

If you’re not sure what to do, contact us, we’re happy to talk about it with you.

“We all want great childhoods because our children are our future,” said James M. Hmurovich, President & CEO, Prevent Child Abuse America, “And right now we need to act on this belief. We need to talk to our children about sex, we need to support organizations that prevent child sexual abuse, and we need to ask ourselves if we as a nation are truly having an open dialogue about healthy sexuality. If the answer is no, we need to act on that too.”

A Celebration of Congress and a Push for More

 

A Celebration of Congress and a Push for More

Yesterday the U.S. Congress stepped up in a big way to pass legislation that can make a real difference in the lives of children and families and help promote great childhoods for children.

When the U.S. Senate passed a major piece of reform legislation known as the “doc fix,” they included language that would reauthorize funding for the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV) for two years at a level of $800 million. These funds programs like Healthy Families America that are proven to improve parent-child attachment and family self-sufficiency, and reduce incidences of child abuse and neglect. 

Congress could have easily ignored MIECHV and chosen to spend the money elsewhere. Instead, they prioritized children and the future of our country to fund a program that helps create equal opportunities for all children and families to succeed. 

While it may be coincidence that this happened in April which is Child Abuse Prevention month, it serves as a reminder of the importance of taking action today to make for a better  tomorrow, and that all of us play a role in the healthy development of our nation’s children.

“I applaud members of Congress for their tremendous work in passing this bill and securing funding for children,” said Jim Hmurovich, President & CEO, Prevent Child Abuse America. “They have set a true example for the rest of us to follow, not only during Child Abuse Prevention Month, but for the rest of the year as well.”

The legislators who voted yes played a major role in the passing of this legislation, but so did all of the people who called their federal elected officials. As these engaged advocates have shown, it can take only a few minutes out of the day to do something that has a real impact  on all of our the futures. 

While advocating for legislation that impacts families in communities across the nation is a tremendous accomplishment, there are small everyday actions that we can all engage that have an impact as well:

A coach who volunteers her time at an after-school program so that parents have a safe place for their kids to go to after school while the parents are still working is playing a role.

A man who offers to babysit for a single parent so that the parent can have a night to relax and de-stress is playing a role.

A group of neighborhood friends who organize a block party so that families in the neighborhood can get to know each other and reduce the risk of isolation are playing a role.

There are many different ways that each of us can make a difference in the lives of children and families. To learn more about other everyday actions you can take, visit Connect the Dots.

“At Healthy Families America, our goal is to help families reach their fullest potential for all children to have a great childhood, and MIECHV is a critical component to the spread and success of our program,” said Cyd Wessel, National Director of Healthy Families America. “Funding from this program will go towards thousands of families across the country who would not have access to these services without it, and we are grateful to members of Congress for their support the work of MIECHV.”

We are grateful to the U.S. Congress for being an example of this during a month that has been used to recognize prevention as a solution since 1983.  Now it’s our turn, for each of us to ensure that Congress’ example does not go unnoticed. We all have a role to play to connect the good works that are going on throughout the country. What will your dot be? 

Good Morning America's Ginger Zee Teams With Prevent Child Abuse America to Mark April as Child Abuse Prevention Month

 

 'Good Morning America's' Ginger Zee teams with Prevent Child Abuse America to mark April as Child Abuse Prevention Month

Ginger to be joined by hundreds of volunteers in Times Square on April 7th to create massive pinwheels display to promote great childhoods for all children

NEW YORK, NY, APRIL 6, 2015 – “Good Morning America’s” Ginger Zee is teaming up with Prevent Child Abuse America on Tuesday, April 7, at New York City’s iconic Times Square to call the city, state and nation to act in support of providing great childhoods for all children. Hundreds of volunteers will join Zee and Prevent Child Abuse America at 9:00am EDT on Broadway between 42nd and 43rd to display thousands of pinwheels – the national child abuse prevention symbol – to mark Child Abuse Prevention Month.

“I can think of nothing more important than helping children get off to good starts early in life,” said Zee. “That’s why I’m proud to join Prevent Child Abuse America today. I am pledging my support to emphasize the importance of great childhoods for all children, and I am calling on all New Yorkers, and people across the country, to do the same!”

The New York “Big Pinwheel Garden” will be the second major event in a month-long series of activities for Prevent Child Abuse America and its 50 state chapters nationwide promoting child abuse prevention. Prevent Child Abuse America kicked-off the month with a Big Pinwheel Garden in the organization’s home city of Chicago on April 1st, and Tuesday’s event in New York represents the third consecutive year the organization is turning the “Big Apple” into the “Big Pinwheel” for child abuse prevention.  Hosting the event again will be Cristina Cuomo of Manhattan magazine. 

To support the campaign, the public can:

- Help a neighbor or family in need by doing one of the suggested actions on our Take Action page

- Make a difference locally by volunteering for the Prevent Child Abuse America chapter in your state; find your chapter at here.

- Donate at www.preventchildabuse.org/pinwheels2015

“As we continue our work to make an impact on the lives of children and families, we hope that others grow to recognize and celebrate the pinwheel in the same way that we do today,” said Jim Hmurovich, President and & CEO of Prevent Child Abuse America. “At the same time, it is important to remember, while the pinwheel symbolizes the great childhoods we want for all children, it cannot move by itself.  We need people to be the force that moves the pinwheel to bring about real change for children in the United States.”

The New York Big Pinwheel Garden is also generously being supported by the Kappa Delta and Sigma Delta Tau Sororities, Chartwells and the General Federation of Women’s Clubs.

 

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