Meeting Builds Connections for Prevention and Well-Being

The Office of Child Abuse and Neglect, with support of the Family Resource Information, Education and Network Development Services National Resource Center (FRIENDS NRC) for the Community Based Child Abuse Prevention (CBCAP), in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Division of Violence Prevention’s Knowledge to Action Child Maltreatment Prevention Consortium Leadership Group (K2A); and other national organizations and networks that support prevention efforts held a two-day meeting on June 21st and 22nd. With the titled purpose of strengthening the “Network for Action” to prevent maltreatment and promote well-being, stakeholders gathered in Alexandria, Virginia to develop a shared vision, engage in shared action, and strengthen networks at the state and federal level. Grantees under Title I and Title II of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act along with Children’s Justice Act and numerous other child abuse and neglect prevention related grant programs joined parent leaders, service providers, researchers, and advocates to learn about opportunities for collaboration.

The emphasis on connections was leveraged through break-out strategic projects and state-specific discussion sessions. CWLA led one of the 12 strategic projects. CWLA’s project was about defining prevention of child abuse and neglect for a new edition of our Standards of Excellence on prevention of child abuse and neglect services. Participants will contribute to a White Paper that will inform this new edition as it is developed.

Several federal leaders joined the meeting to talk about ongoing work towards collaboration, both at the federal level and within their work to enable collaboration at the state and local levels. Represented agencies included the Office of Child Abuse and Neglect, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Defense, Head Start, Family and Youth Services, Maternal and Child Health, Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In addition, Administration on Children Youth and Families’ Commissioner Bryan Samuels gave a keynote address. He delivered a call to action for greater collaboration across the continuum of child abuse and neglect prevention and child welfare services to tend to the social and emotional well-being by increasing protective factors for all children before risk, at-risk, and after maltreatment.

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