The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released Building Community Commitment for Safe, Stable, Nurturing Relationships and Environments, developed by Prevention Institute. This publication provides guidance to mobilize communities to create safe spaces and settings that keep kids safe and support their healthy development. Part of CDC’s Essentials for Childhood initiative to prevent child abuse and neglect, this document lays out steps that communities can use to build support for many issues. PI presents nine key elements and case examples, organized in three clusters:
1. Develop a Shared Vision. In Otoe County, Nebraska, for example, local partners wanted a vision statement that everyone in the community could support—“Bright futures begin at birth! Every child will receive the nurturing care to become compassionate, contributing members of their communities.”
2. Build Understanding of the Need and Solutions. After winning re-election on a platform of reducing meth abuse, the sheriff of Laurel County, Kentucky, hosted community meetings to increase understanding about child abuse and its connection to drug addiction. He invited health educators and children’s advocates to travel with him to fire stations and Elks Lodges throughout the county to reinforce the notion that preventing child abuse is a community responsibility.
3. Partner. To create the conditions for children to thrive, the North Carolina Task Force on Child Abuse Prevention developed 13 priority recommendations. Specific partners agreed to implement the recommendations and embark upon joint projects, and they agreed to report on progress within the year to hold each other accountable.
We hope you’ll read the paper and pass it on to colleagues and friends. If you’re active on social media, share your thoughts with us at @preventioninst.