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Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect

Preventing child abuse requires a two-generation approach that supports parents, addresses children’s developmental needs, and reaches families long before they come in contact with the child welfare system or other formal social service systems.

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A video overview of Strengthening Families, a successful child abuse and neglect prevention approach.

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Child abuse and neglect costs Americans $103.8 billion annually (2007 dollars) in direct costs (hospitalization, mental health care system, child welfare services system, and law enforcement) and indirect costs (Special education, juvenile delinquency, mental health and health care, adult criminal justice system, and lost productivity to society). For the full cost-benefit analysis.

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Policy and practice recommendations can be found in the Child Welfare Policy Guide with recommendations to address substance abuse in families within the child welfare system.

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Young children are more likely than older children to be victims of child maltreatment, reported maltreatment rate is highest for infants birth to one year old. In this podcast, Judy Langford, former national project director for Strengthening Families, talks about how policymakers have used the Protective Factors to prevent child abuse and neglect and to support families.