Strong Communities for Children

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Scientific Rating:
Promising Research Evidence
See scale of 1-5
Child Welfare System Relevance Level:
See descriptions of 3 levels

About This Program

The information in this program outline is provided by the program representative and edited by the CEBC staff. Strong Communities for Children has been rated by the CEBC in the area of: Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (Primary) Programs.

Target Population: Entire communities with the intent to generate and sustain support for families with young children

Brief Description

Derived from the neighborhood-based child protection strategy proposed by the U.S. Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect in 1993, Strong Communities for Children is a comprehensive communitywide initiative for the promotion of family and community well-being and prevention of child abuse and neglect. Strong Communities involves the whole community through voluntary assistance by neighbors for one another, especially for families of young children. The strategy entails the use of outreach workers to facilitate community engagement and leadership development in order to enable communities to accept responsibility for parent support and child safety. The outreach workers then build on the resources that they have cultivated to promote the creation of volunteer-delivered support (e.g., occasional child care, food banks, financial counseling, respite care) for families of young children in settings not commonly identified as providers of family support service (e.g., fire stations, faith communities, libraries).

Program Goals:

The goals of Strong Communities for Children are:

Ultimate goal:

  • Keep kids safe by building systems of support for families with young children, so that every child and every parent know that whenever they have reason to celebrate, worry, or grieve, someone will notice, and someone will care

Program goals:

  • Promote normative change in perceptions, beliefs, and behavior
  • Build a sense of community by increasing caring (i.e., attentiveness, neighborliness) and inclusion (i.e., universality of access to family support and mutuality of respect and caring)
  • Build a sense of efficacy by:
    • Increasing optimism (i.e., the belief, individually and collectively, that action on behalf of families will be effective because the community is a welcoming and supportive place and that positive things do happen for families in the community)
    • Increasing action (i.e., the belief, individually and collectively, that the possibility of effective action on behalf of families should be translated into practical activity and that such practical activity will occur)

Contact Information

Name: Gary B. Melton, PhD
Agency/Affiliation: Kempe Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect, University of Colorado Anschutz
Website: pediatrics/subs/can/StrongCommforChildren/Pages/default.aspx
Phone: (864) 934-1151
Fax: (434) 812-2169

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: October 2015

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: December 2015

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: January 2016