Say the words “child abuse prevention” and the response you get will most likely relate to what isn’t working. It’s a default response that must be changed because child abuse is preventable.
The good news is that we do know what is working. In fact, a variety of successful child abuse and neglect prevention strategies are (quietly) at work on the ground in Nebraska right now. If you work with children and families, you can learn how to put these child abuse prevention strategies into action.
On April 10, the Prevention Summit in Kearney will help us recognize these evidence-based strategies and move them forward. The Summit will use a universal framework for the vital factors all children and families need—the Protective Factors. Within this Protective Factors framework, several state leaders and state-level partners will share their focus for the coming year. National experts will show us how to ensure that the children and families we work with have the benefit of more Protective Factors and other ways to increase the effectiveness of our prevention investments.
What to expect
Communities have long been a source of innovation, testing new approaches for delivering support and services to families. Communities have a key role at the summit and in implementing strategies that come after it. State leaders who attend will share new prevention priorities and discuss resources from across departments and within communities. With shared vision and voice, communities and state partners will leave the summit with plans and tools to use together. It will be a good day to share positive, doable ideas for prevention.
At the summit, you’ll:
- Hear from state leaders about the importance of prevention and community-level response in addressing families facing challenges
- Be inspired by a keynote address from the President & CEO of Prevent Child Abuse America
- Review our state’s child welfare data that tells us about the children who are coming into the system, followed by Nebraska’s first-ever data on ACE (adverse childhood events)that will help us better understand the effects of adverse events into adulthood
- Get detailed insights about existing evidence-based strategies for prevention in Nebraska through expert presentations. You’ll learn more about the developing Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting programs across the state and use of Conjoint Behavioral Consultation to support families and schools with children demonstrating behavioral challenges
- Participate in workshops that include the experiences of Nebraska communities in promoting early childhood social-emotional development, moving from assessment to action, and identifying and responding to children, youth and families that have experienced trauma.
- Find out what you can do now with a final ‘action workshop’ at the end of the day, where we’ll talk through what is working well, specific needs for improvement, and what everyone can do moving forward.
In a year or so following the Summit, the hope is that the words “child abuse prevention” might elicit a better understanding and experience of all that is working—from healing those who have been harmed to blocking many more from exposure to abuse and neglect.