April is child abuse prevention month. We all want to do everything we can to make sure every child is safe and thriving. Oftentimes when abuse or neglect occurs, it is because families have been stretched to the limit or lack the resources they need to adequately care for their children. The more that all families can be supported, the safer and healthier all children will be.
The National Child Welfare Information Gateway has published a prevention resource guide that outlines how systems, policy and families can work together to make sure all families are supported and children can thrive. The guide emphasizes the protective factors, has guides to help professionals talk collaboratively with families and also includes resources families can use to understand and manage their children’s behavior.
We were glad to see that the guide encourages the use of Parent Cafes to support families. Families as Allies has been facilitating Parent Cafes with our partners at Operation Shoestring, Mississippi Families for Kids and the Department of Mental Health for the past two years. We are happy to arrange more cafes with groups who are interested and we look forward to this model being used more in Mississippi.
Families as Allies is also committed to expanding the use of parent peer support to families involved with the child welfare system. We have some opportunities on the horizon and look forward to sharing more about those in the next few weeks. Please let us know if you are aware of additional opportunities to grow this support.