5 Key Protective Measures Against Child Abuse

For the Sake of Our Children…
5 Key Protective Measures against Child Abuse and Neglect
Archived Article: Trust Newsletter 14/12/10

cute_kid.jpg   Child wellbeing statistics in New Zealand are horrific and it is so easy just to demonise individuals. But when we really look at the statistics it becomes obvious that this is a nationwide/societal problem that goes much wider and deeper than to just a few people. We need to take an approach to these issues that is both wide and deep – a nationwide but personal approach and we can all help.

A factsheet released by the Child Welfare Information Gateway (US)
highlights that “parents and caregivers who have support—from family, friends, neighbors, and their communities—are more likely to provide safe andhealthy homes for their children. When parents lack this support or feel isolated, on the other hand, they may be more likely to make poor decisions that can lead to neglect or abuse.”

The factsheet goes on to say that “the best way to prevent child abuse is to help parents develop the skills and identify the resources they need to understand and meet their children’s emotional, physical, and developmental needs and protect their children from harm.” The factsheet identifies that providing emotional support to parents for family raising challenges and assistance with the provision of basic resources such as food, clothing, housing, transportation both go a long way as protective factors.

One of the wonderful things about these statements is that this means that we can all take some practical steps towards improving child wellbeing in New Zealand. And during this time of goodwill and cheer there are some easy and practical things we can do to help:

  • Get to know your neighbors
    Problems seem less overwhelming when support is nearby.

  • Help a family under stress.
    Offer to babysit, help with chores and errands, or suggest resources in the community that can help.

  • Reach out to children in your community.
   A smile or a word of encouragement can mean a lot, whether it comes from a parent or a passing stranger.

  • Be an active community member.
    Lend a hand at local schools, community or faith-based organizations, children’s hospitals, social service agencies, or other places
    where families and children are supported.

  • Learn how to recognize and report signs of child abuse and neglect.
    Reporting your concerns may protect a child and get help for a family who needs it.”
    (from “Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect Factsheet - www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/factsheets/preventingcan.cfm.)

So For the Sake of Our Children this Christmas – lets all think about doing at least one of things this year and all work together towards making New Zealand a safer place for our children.