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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

IL First Lady Diana Rauner and Ald. Mary O'Connor team with Prevent Child Abuse America to Mark April as Child Abuse Prevention Month


IL First Lady Diana Rauner and Ald. Mary O'Connor team with Prevent Child Abuse America to Mark April as Child Abuse Prevention Month

First Lady Rauner, 41st Ward Alderman Mary O’Connor, Prevent Child Abuse America and its Illinois chapter will open Child Abuse Prevention Month with “Pinwheel Garden” at two Northwest side schools

CHICAGO, IL, MARCH 27, 2015 – Illinois First Lady Diana Rauner and 41st Ward Alderman Mary O’Connor are teaming with Prevent Child Abuse America and its Illinois chapter on Tuesday, April 1, at the Wildwood and St. Mary of the Woods Elementary Schools to call the city, state and nation to act in support of providing great childhoods for all children because our children are our future.

The Chicago “Big Pinwheel Garden” kicks-off a month-long series of events for Prevent Child Abuse America and its 50 state chapters nationwide to mark April as Child Abuse Prevention Month.  At the center of these activities will be the pinwheel, the national symbol for child abuse prevention, first unveiled by Prevent Child Abuse America through its national Pinwheels for Prevention® campaign in April 2008. In fact, with these events on April 1st, Prevent Child Abuse America and its chapters will be unveiling a new organizational logo featuring the pinwheel. 

Additional Chicago area efforts to look for in April will include:

- Pinwheel gardens on display at many of the other 21 schools in the 41st ward
- Pinwheel gardens at 2 N. Riverside Plaza, Illinois Center and 600 W. Chicago where passers-by can take pinwheels and submit photos or videos with them using the hashtag #greatchildhoods
- The message “#Great Childhoods!” in window lights on the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois building at 300 E. Randolph from April 10 to 12

“The importance of investing in early child development and preventing child maltreatment cannot be underestimated,” said Diana Rauner, the First Lady of Illinois and the president of the Ounce of Prevention Fund. “I’m joining Prevent Child Abuse America and its Illinois chapter today to pledge continued support for emphasizing the importance of healthy starts for all children, and I encourage everyone in the city and state to pledge the same this April.”

Because of the correlation between parental stress and isolation and child maltreatment, Prevent Child Abuse America advocates simple, everyday actions that help reduce stress and isolation and therefore reduce child maltreatment. Some activities that people can do during Child Abuse Prevention Month include:

- Offer to babysit or cook for a friend or relative who is feeling the stress of work and child rearing  so that the parent can have the chance to rest and recharge
- Volunteer at pre- and after-school programs so that kids have a nurturing and  educational environment where parents can safely leave their children while at work
- Donate to programs that provide services to children and families
- Learn more about programs such as home visiting, which enhance early child development, and advocate for their availability in your neighborhood.

"Simple actions can make a difference, and I am proud to be joining First Lady Rauner and Prevent Child Abuse America in doing what I can to make a difference during April," said Alderman O'Connor. "Let's all work together to play a role in the prevention of abuse and neglect and working to make great childhoods a reality for all children in Chicago and nationwide."

“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.”

Prevent Child Abuse America, founded in 1972 in Chicago, works to ensure great childhoods for all children because our children are our future. The organization promotes that vision through a network of chapters in 50 states and more than 625 Healthy Families America home visitation sites in 39 states, the U.S. Territories, Puerto Rico and Canada, serving over 85,000 families annually. A major organizational focus is to advocate for the existence of a national policy framework and strategy for children and families while promoting evidence-based practices that prevent abuse and neglect from ever occurring. To learn more about what we’re doing to prevent child abuse and neglect and how you can help, please visit our websites at www.preventchildabuse.org or www.healthyfamiliesamerica.org. 

 

 

Child Advocates Descend on DC in Defense of Home Visiting and Abuse Prevention

 

Child Advocates Descend on DC in Defense of Home Visiting and Abuse Prevention

Representatives from Prevent Child Abuse America’s 50 state network are in Washington to advocate for two laws that are critical to the healthy development of children and families.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Advocates from every state in the Prevent Child Abuse America 50 state chapter network are in the nation’s capital today, advocating for key pieces of legislation that are proven to improve the lives of children and families nationwide.

Prevent Child Abuse Executive Directors and advocates from around the nation are calling for the reauthorization of the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program and for the Child Abuse and Prevention Treatment Act (CAPTA) to be fully funded.

MIECHV supports evidence-based home visiting initiatives that provide the support, experience and knowledge critical to success during pregnancy and through the first few years of a child’s life. Among the programs supported by MIECHV is Healthy Families America (HFA), Prevent Child Abuse America’s signature prevention program, that provides more than 86,000 families annually with services that are proven to increase the knowledge and skill of parents, improve the early learning abilities of children, reduce incidences of child maltreatment, and improve overall family self-sufficiency.

Currently, MIECHV is set to expire at the end of March. If Congress fails to reauthorize MIECHV, tens of thousands of families across the country would lose access to home visiting services like HFA, and thousands of family support workers would find their jobs in jeopardy.

CAPTA is a historic law that dates to 1974 and is one of the major ways that the federal government funds state programs that prevent and reduce child abuse and neglect. In fiscal year 2015, CAPTA state grants were funded at a level of $26 million, a number so low that resulted in some states receiving less than $100,000 to cover the costs associated with child protection, reporting, and investigation of claims.

Calling this level of funding “beyond inadequate,” advocates from Prevent Child Abuse America are requesting that Congress fund CAPTA state grants at a minimum level of $30 million.

“MIECHV and CAPTA are two of the major ways that the federal government help ensure that families and children have access to the programs and services that help them thrive,” said James M. Hmurovich, President and CEO of Prevent Child Abuse America. “These programs desperately need to be reauthorized and fully funded so that we can not only reduce incidences of child abuse and neglect, but move our country closer to the ideal in which no child is ever abused or neglected and every family is equipped to give their children the best lives possible.”

The Head of the River

 

The Head of the River

CHICAGO, IL, February 12, 2015 There's a public health tale about two people walking-up to a river and seeing children floating by. One person says we need to pull these children out of the water, and the other says yes we do, but what we really need to do is go to the head of the river and figure out why they're falling in to begin with.

We were reminded of this tale as we read “Shame on U.S.- Failings by All Three Branches of Our Federal Government Leave Abused and Neglected Children Vulnerable to Further Harm,” the recent report from the Children's Advocacy Institute.

This report is speaking truth to power, and eloquently points out what's wrong with the child welfare system at every level.The report also points to what can be done to improve the situation as we seek to ensure great childhoods and equal opportunities for the healthy development of all children:

- We can invest in real, evidence-based prevention such as home visiting, and programs like Healthy Families America, to keep kids out of the system on the first place.

- We can put child well-being front and center on the national policy agenda.

- We can develop and enforce certain maltreatment standards among all states, and the report calls for some of that, particularly in defining maltreatment.

- We can go to the head of the river, but we must also acknowledge, that the report is dangerously silent on primary prevention.

 

You could argue that this is not the intended topic of the report, that the report is intended as a call to action to the public agencies who serve children and families. But prevention is our mission at Prevent Child Abuse America, we want to prevent child abuse and neglect before it ever occurs, and the responsibility for doing so goes well beyond public agencies alone.

 

The report also points out the inconsistencies in accounting for the children known to the child welfare systems; a topic we write about every year when the annual federal report on Child Maltreatment is released. The lack of uniform definitions is important, because it prohibits

 

maltreatment trend analysis even in the same state and does not allow for a true assessment of the issue nationally. It also places the ordinary citizen in a state of confusion because of inconsistent understanding as to whether maltreatment is increasing or decreasing.

 

We advocate for the development of a comprehensive measure of how well public agencies promote child well-being; a definition and accompanying benchmarks that go beyond child protective services that serves kids whose well-being already has been compromised. Public health, education, law enforcement, public welfare and each of us all have a role to play in overall child well-being, not just child protective services.

 

Our 2012 study on the economic impact of child abuse and neglect shows that the U.S. spends $80 billion each year on services focused on everything from mental health to juvenile justice; and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also reports that each victim of child abuse will cost the nation approximately $210,000 over the course of their lifetime. Prevention is the right thing to do and it offers a strong return on the investment

 

It's time we go to the head of the river, and we hope you will join us by:

 

·         Learning more about how we can prevent child abuse and neglect before it ever occurs.

·         Volunteering at local child and family-serving agencies, such as those in our chapter network.

·         Advocating for expanded prevention strategies such as home visiting in the communities and states where you live.  

 

If you don’t know how to take these actions, please let us know, we’ll be happy to help you figure it out.

 

"Improving the  Child Protective Services system, as this report so eloquently describes, is critical and analogous to building new hospitals to fight a disease," said James M. Hmurovich, President & CEO, Prevent Child Abuse America. “We must garner the public and political will to allocate the funds it will cost to reduce the likelihood of a child needing to go to a hospital or into the child protective services system. We have the evidence-based strategies to do that, all we have to do now is demand the resources to bring them to scale.”

 

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