Child Abuse and Neglect: Prevention Strategies

Child abuse and neglect are serious problems that can have lasting harmful effects on its victims. The goal in preventing child abuse and neglect is clear—to stop this violence from happening in the first place. Safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments for all children and families can prevent abuse and help all children reach their full potential.

Child abuse and neglect are complex problems rooted in unhealthy relationships and environments. Preventing child abuse and neglect requires a comprehensive approach that influences all levels of the social ecology (including the societal culture), community involvement, relationships among families and neighbors, and individual behaviors. Effective prevention strategies focus on modifying policies, practices, and societal norms to create safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments.

CDC’s technical package for preventing child abuse and neglect[PDF 3.69MB] identifies a number of strategies to help states and communities prioritize prevention activities based on the best available evidence. These strategies range from a focus on individuals, families, and relationships, to broader community and societal change. This range of strategies is needed to better address the interplay between individual-family behavior and broader neighborhood, community, and cultural contexts. Strategies and their corresponding approaches are presented in the table below.

Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect

Strategy Approach
Strengthen economic supports to families
  • Strengthening household financial security
  • Family-friendly work policies
Change social norms to support parents and positive parenting
  • Public engagement and education campaigns
  • Legislative approaches to reduce corporal punishment
Provide quality care and education early in life
  • Preschool enrichment with family engagement
  • Improved quality of child care through licensing and accreditation
Enhance parenting skills to promote healthy child development
  • Early childhood home visitation
  • Parenting skill and family relationship approaches
Intervene to lessen harms and prevent future risk
  • Enhanced primary care
  • Behavioral parent training programs
  • Treatment to lessen harms of abuse and neglect exposure
  • Treatment to prevent problem behavior and later involvement in violence

Additional information on child abuse and neglect prevention strategies, approaches and corresponding evidence can be found in Preventing Child Abuse & Neglect: A Technical Package for Policy, Norm, and Programmatic Activities[PDF 3.69MB].

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Guidelines and Planning Tools

  • Essentials for Childhood[PDF 5.5MB]  proposes strategies communities can consider to promote the types of relationships and environments that help children grow up to be healthy and productive citizens so that they, in turn, can build stronger and safer families and communities for their children.
  • Essentials for Parenting Toddlers and Preschoolers is a free, online resource developed by CDC’s Division of Violence Prevention. It provides information about what parents can do to build a positive, healthy relationship with their child.
  • Understanding Evidence is an interactive Web resource that CDC’s Division of Violence Prevention developed to support public health practitioners in making evidence-informed decisions around violence prevention.
  • EvaluACTION is designed for people interested in learning about program evaluation and how to apply it to their work.
  • Principles of Prevention is an online training or you to learn how to apply key concepts of primary prevention, the public health approach, and the social-ecological model to your violence prevention work.
  • Developing and Sustaining Prevention Programs on the Child Welfare Information Gateway website provides resources on developing a prevention program, conducting a community needs assessment, funding, collaborating, evaluating program effectiveness, and building community support.

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Reviews of Effective and Promising Programs

  • California Evidence-based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare
    This organization provides online access to information about evidence-based child welfare practices in a simple, straightforward format. The effectiveness of these practices is supported by empirical research.
  • Community Guide
    This guide provides systematic reviews of interventions, including home visitation programs like Nurse-Family Partnerships.
  • Child Welfare Information Gateway
    This site connects child welfare and related professionals to comprehensive information and resources to help protect children and strengthen families.
  • Promising Practices Network
    This network provides summaries of effective programs and issue briefs summarizing current research related to child well-being, including their physical and mental health, academic success, and economic security.
  • World Report on Violence and Health
    This report is the first comprehensive review of violence on a global scale. Chapter 3[PDF 176KB] provides detailed information about child abuse and neglect, including prevention strategies.Aware Logo - Blue Tag Line

Parent’s Corner – Should I Stay or Should I Go?


Dear Sue Ellen,

I saw this thing on TV about domestic violence and it said one of the danger signs of an abusive relationship is isolation.  It said abusive partners would try to keep you away from your friends and family.  It made me uneasy to hear that because my boyfriend wants me to move away from all my family and friends to a town where I don’t know anybody.  I love him, but I don’t think he should expect me to do that.  I try to talk to him about it, but he keeps on pressuring me to go.  I think I want to build a life with him but I really don’t want to move.  Should I stay or should I go?


Dear Crystal

This is going to be really easy for me to say:   Don’t go!

The thing you saw on TV is right.  Abusive partners DO try to isolate their victims.  Does that mean your boyfriend is abusive?  Since you brought up the subject, let’s talk about abusive relationships.  An abusive relationship is when one person controls another person using criticism, emotional manipulation, threats, blaming, physical violence, anger, force, charm, lies, fear, monetary control and/or isolation as you already brought up.  An abuser will seem so charming and trustworthy at first.  He (or she…yes there are lots of women that are abusive) will seem too good to be true.  They are so appreciative but then, over time, subtle controls start.  Eventually a victim feels powerless to escape because they are mentally, emotionally and sometimes physically trapped.

You say you love this guy and you want to build a life with him.  Why wouldn’t you want to go with the person you are planning your future with?  There must be more to this story.  If some little voice inside you is telling you he really isn’t the one, please do yourself, and him, a favor and break it off.  How he handles your breakup will show you what kind of man he is.  Are you a little bit afraid to make him angry?  Deep down do you think he will try to harm you if you end it?  You don’t have to be honest with me, but your life depends on you being honest with yourself.

Let’s talk about love.  Love is good. If love is the core of your relationship with your boyfriend, you will be able to work this issue out together.  Love is patient and kind.  It is not jealous or boastful.  Love does not insist on its own way.  Love is not irritable or resentful.

Here is one more question for you to ask yourself.  Do you want this boyfriend of yours to become the father of your children?  If you go with this guy and he is abusive then your children will grow up in an abusive home.  Is that what you want for your future?  You have lots to think about.

Please email your parenting questions to and put “Parent’s Corner on the subject line.

Parent’s Corner – Big Imaginations


Dear Sue Ellen,

My 4-year-old son, Timmy, tells me stories that I know aren’t true.  Granted, sometimes they are funny.  He told me that an eagle flew into our back yard and had an American Flag stuck in his tail feathers. Do eagles even have tail feathers?  The other day he dropped his cereal on the floor; the bowl broke; milk and cereal went everywhere, of course. When I asked him about it he gave me one of his lengthy explanations.  The short version is that a little boy about his age, who looked a lot like him, walked into the kitchen and was going to steal a bowl of cereal, but Timmy heard him; ran and got his Star Wars laser; and turned the boy into a skunk that knocked the cereal over and stunk up the whole kitchen.  Timmy said his laser was able to get rid of the skunk and his odor, but his laser didn’t like to clean up messes on the floor.  When he tells these stories he will argue they really happened.  Should I be concerned about Timmy’s big imagination?


Dear Mommy-B

Storytelling is an old folk art.   Maybe your little one is going to grow up to be the next Mark Twain of his generation.  I wouldn’t worry too much about his delightful imagination, but I would suggest that you don’t let him watch too much TV.  There is so much awful stuff being shown, even on kids’ channels, that a boy with an imagination like your son’s could be pure trouble for him, and everybody around.  I am imagining it right now: it will start simple “I need a Spiderman Suit”, he might say.  Then it will grow into “I need a scientific laboratory so I can clone the cat”, or “I need my very own Tiny House on Wheels so I can drive to the wilderness and live with Bigfoot”.  (Whew!  I’m ready for a nap!)

At some point in time (sooner better than later) you will have to start teaching your son the difference between telling stories and telling the truth.   There is a time for both.  Stories are great as long as everybody knows it as a story and not the gospel truth.

I like the way you wrote your concerns. Have you thought about keeping a journal for your little boy?   You could encourage him to tell stories while you write them down.  That happened to me when I was a little girl.  My mother documented one of the many stories I told her.  To this day, I cherish those handwritten pages.  It was a tragic tale about a ballerina that had two broken arms and two broken legs. I found it years later when I was helping my parents clean out their attic.  Where did a five-year-old girl, that only watched Captain Kangaroo on TV, ever come up with a story like that?  Sometimes I surprise myself.

Yep…keep your son away from too much TV.

Please email your parenting questions to and put “Parent’s Corner on the subject line.

Christmas on the Farm Needs list

Christmas on the Farm 2016 - Flyer (ecdedios)Don’t forget!!!!

Needs for now: 

Gift bags for entry

Materials for paper airplane booth (paper/ instruction sheets)

Country Store/Bake Sale Needs:


Jelly Jars (pints or smaller)

Wrapped candy

Small toys for “grab bags”

Baked goods (check with Bernie/Belinda about type, size, etc)

Cake mixes

Brownie mixes

Gluten free mixes

Nestles Quick

Powdered Milk

Chocolate Chips


Powdered sugar


Corn pops

Captain Crunch

M&M’s (big bags)


All of items for COF must be delivered to office before Thanksgiving.


Parents Corner – Be Victorious!


Parent’s Corner

Be Victorious


Dear Sue Ellen,

My daughter is in the 5th grade and she wants to be a cheerleader so I signed her up for a gymnastics class.  A girl in the class is being very mean to my daughter.  They go to the same school, and the mean kid told my daughter she would never make the cheerleading team because she is ugly and nobody likes her.  Now my daughter wants to quit gymnastics.   She is so hurt by this.   Should I call that girl’s parents?


Worried Mom


Dear Worried Mom,

Have you ever seen people that want something really bad and start working toward that goal until it gets hard and they change their mind and give up?  Why do they give up?  I have talked to some experts about this, and it seems the general belief is people give up because they are defeated.  If your daughter truly wants to do this, she shouldn’t give up because some snotty girl said something mean.  As her parent, you have to believe in her and help her to remain undefeated.


I once asked a big-shot business person what was his secret to success.  His reply was “don’t give up”.  People that are successful have failed like the rest of us, but they get back up.  If they fail again, they get back up again.   Highly successful people are fearless.  They are willing to put all their energy into a goal or dream.   If they don’t reach that goal, they make a new goal and go after it.   In other words, they are not defeated.


As her mom, are you defeated?  I am sure you know that kids learn how to navigate through life by watching the adults around them.  Do you make goals and stick to them, even when it gets hard?


Here’s my wish for you and your daughter.  Be undefeated!  Help your daughter to focus on doing the best she can in her gymnastic class and celebrate all the new things she learns to do along the way.  Focus on the positives.  If the mean girl becomes a bully and threatens your daughter, you will have to intervene.  That would be the time to tell the owner of the gym, and if that doesn’t work, tell the mean girl’s parents.  They may be bullies too, so stand your ground, be courteous and don’t back down.  Be Victorious!



Please email your parenting questions to and put “Parent’s Corner on the subject line.



Altrusa International of Temple awards Aware $400

Altrusa International of Temple gave Aware $400 towards new computers. We are excited to be expanding our Family coaching services. Harriet Brodie attended the regularly scheduled meeting where the hard working club awarded the check. Pictured are Theresa Reese, Beverly Luedke, and Dorothy Granfor, President.  Thank you, what a fun group you are!!img_20160913_120949434

New Activity for COF – The Great Treasure Hunt


Introducing the Pirate booth at Christmas on the Farm!! We need a “humpty back” treasure chest, if you have one that we could use. We think this is going to be great fun…..argh!

Exchange Clubs of Killeen & Temple/Belton- Donate Books


Will you look at these books? Dick Young & Cara Morris representing the Killeen & Temple/Belton Exchange Clubs stopped by to donate these beautiful library books to Aware for our Christmas on the Farm event to be held December 3rd at the Bell County Expo Center. We have a booth where children can get a book for a nominal cost. We are thrilled to get this donation to have them available for kids. Reading is such a wonderful activity with your children. It is important in so many ways. We need donations of books, stuffed animals, small gift items to help make this event happen. Give us a call, if you’d like to be a part of this wonderful event. 254-939-7582(105)

Planning Underway for COF 2016



Yes, it’s time to plan for this year’s Christmas on the Farm! This is from our first meeting. This will be our 10th year and we are planning for it to be the best yet. Thank you committee members Helen Alexander (chair), Ellie Cornell, Kisena Anderson, Jerry Goodman, Mark Hyde, Linda Guerrero, Debra Stapleton, Bernie Curry. We appreciate you!

So much work goes into making this a wonderful event for children. Yes, it’s a fundraiser to help us in our mission but all of us want children to have a memorable and fun day. Call 254-939-7582 (105) if you’d like to help us by being a sponsor or volunteer for this event!


Loud Kids

Dear Sue Ellen,

I am fed up with parents that let their kids scream in public places like restaurants and stores. Would you please send them a message for me? Tell them we are tired of parent’s not dealing with their kids in public places. Thank you.

– G.L.

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