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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

Prevent Child Abuse America and Chartwells K12 Team to Deliver Healthy Meals and Healthy Social Interactions in the Lunchroom

 

Prevent Child Abuse America and Chartwells K12 Team to Deliver Healthy Meals and Healthy Social Interactions in the Lunchroom

Anti-bullying initiative focuses on the prevention of peer abuse and the promotion of positive social development

CHICAGO, IL, December 11 – Prevent Child Abuse America and Chartwells K12 are teaming up to prevent bullying where it often takes place: the lunchroom. The partnership will deliver healthy messages to students alongside the healthy food choices Chartwells serves in 3,800 schools nationwide as part of a peer abuse (commonly known as bullying) prevention campaign. The campaign supports efforts to positively change youth behaviors in light of the more than 70 percent of students who report witnessing bullying on a monthly basis.*

As part of the partnership, Chartwells team members will receive targeted training to help them recognize bullying behavior and appropriately respond. Training for leadership will also be provided regarding the impact of peer abuse in schools.

"We applaud Chartwells' interest in extending beyond nurturing appetites to also encourage change in youth behaviors, and by teaming up with Chartwells, we have the opportunity to do both," said James Hmurovich, President & CEO of Prevent Child Abuse America. "By including abuse prevention messages with these meals, in addition to working with the food service professionals, we have a real chance to make a positive impact. We're delighted about the possibilities that this partnership with Chartwells presents."

As part of the Chartwells' "eat. learn. live." initiative, the school dining service believes that by providing students with fresh and nutritious meals, it can improve the well-being of the students it serves, build sharp minds and strong bodies, and enrich the lives of students and communities in which they live. Because of its work within school cafés, Chartwells has a unique opportunity to make a difference.

"Our number one priority is to nourish the students, to help them make smart choices about food, and also about living healthy, happy lives," said Rhonna Cass, President of Chartwells. "Our partnership with Prevent Child Abuse America is an important extension of our 'eat. learn. live.' promise and will help Chartwells further its goal to improve the well-being of our students and communities."

Research suggests that training Chartwells staff to create a positive cafeteria climate and support students' social emotional learning skills is associated with increases in pro-social behavior and academic achievement and decreases in student conduct problems and distress. In addition to working together on messaging and training, Chartwells will participate in Prevent Child Abuse America's signature spring campaign, Pinwheels for Prevention®, a national initiative customized for local communities that uses symbolic pinwheels to promote healthy, full lives for children.

"Studies show nearly one in three students in grades 6 through 12 experience bullying," said Hmurovich**. "Chartwells is a natural fit to help us spread the message that all people deserve respect, and we believe it is essential to equip food service professionals with education and training to prevent peer abuse before it ever begins."

 

Prevent Child Abuse America and Home Visiting Coalition push for budget extension of MIECHV

 

Prevent Child Abuse America and Home Visiting Coalition push for budget extension of MIECHV and great beginnings for all children

Coalition to send sign-on letter bearing more than 700 signatures to Congress in support of the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program

CHICAGO, IL, December 4 – Prevent Child Abuse America and its partners in the Home Visiting Coalition are writing members of congress today to urge their support in extending funding for the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program. MIECHV supports evidence-based home visiting programs, such as Healthy Families America, that have been shown to improve the early health and development of children and to reduce incidences of child maltreatment.

The coalition, which includes members of state legislatures, faith-based groups, and organizations like the Pew Charitable Trusts and the American Psychological Association, is sending a letter bearing over 700 signatures (including signatures from 29 members of the Prevent Child Abuse America chapter network as well as over 130 HFA sites from 33 states and 4 territories) to each member of the House and the Senate, urging them to reauthorize the MIECHV program at its current annual funding level of $400 million. MIECHV has enjoyed bipartisan support since it was created in 2009, and Congress previously voted in support of continued funding for the program.

"Home visiting programs are pro-family, voluntary, and most importantly, they work," said Jim Hmurovich, President & CEO of Prevent Child Abuse America. "Democrats and Republicans worked together recently to pass funding for this program, so today we are simply asking them to work together and fund this successful program again."

Prevent Child Abuse America and the leaders of the other national, state, and tribal leaders are pushing for the MIECHV re-authorization to take place either in the upcoming lame duck session or as one of the first acts of the next Congress. Funding for MIECHV is currently set to expire in March 2015, and any failure to reauthorize the program before then would be devastating to the home visiting programs currently serving children and families in all 50 states, 6 territories, and numerous tribal territories.

"Funding from this program is helping hundreds of thousands of families right now, all across the country, helping to deliver children the great childhoods they deserve and give families the chance to be self-sufficient," said Hmurovich. "We know, and the research shows, that MIECHV is good for the country and will save us money down the line. We hope that all of the members of Congress will take the common-sense step to vote to continue funding for this important program."

You can view the letter at this link.

 

Healthier Futures, a National Dialogue, and Adrian Peterson

 

Healthier Futures, a National Dialogue, and Adrian Peterson


CHICAGO, IL, November 18 – At Prevent Child Abuse America we work to create healthier futures for all children. We also seek to create environments that lead to great childhoods. And we strive to create an equal playing field for all children and all families.

We traffic in hope and solutions, thriving children, and a healthier world for all of us to live in. What we do not do is traffic in rage. It doesn't serve the nation's children, their families, or the communities they live in.

But we know there will be rage today directed at the National Football League for suspending Adrian Peterson for the rest of the 2014 season. People will question whether his rights as a parent, and worker, are being undermined. And while we agree that this is an important dialogue, we do not believe it is the most important dialogue we as a nation can be having right now.

While we take no stand on Peterson's case, we appreciate all of the dialogue that has occurred coast-to-coast since his very public case raised the issue of appropriate discipline. What we've learned since the news about Peterson first broke is that despite being a controversial topic, people are very willing to discuss their views on corporal punishment.

While we recognize that all parents have the right to choose the manner in which they discipline their children, we also know that there are more effective methods than corporal punishment, and so what we also hope is that we can have this dialogue with you as well.

When having this dialogue, it's important to stick to what we know. Thanks to research from Dr. Martin Hoffman, we know that alternative forms of discipline like time-outs or loss of privileges are proven to be as, if not more, effective than corporal punishment. Thanks to research from Dr. Elizabeth Gershoff, we also know that not only does corporal punishment fail to make children compliant in the short-term, it also fails to make a long-term difference in the child's behavior, and in fact can lead to life-long, negative health outcomes. At the same time, we recognize that every parent has the right to decide for themselves how to discipline their children, so we encourage everyone to look up this research for themselves, and if you have questions, let us know, because we'll be happy to answer them.

"We hope that all those who've been willing to have this discussion, whether with friends, spouses, family or even strangers," said James M. Hmurovich, President & CEO, Prevent Child Abuse America, "will be equally willing to learn more about alternative discipline methods that are proven to be more effective than corporal punishment and are more effective at promoting the kind of moral and obedience education that discipline is meant to teach."

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