Reducing Child Abuse & Neglect through Strengthening Families

April 2, 2021

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, dedicated to recognizing the importance of families and communities working together to prevent child abuse and neglect.

According to the Alaska Office of Children’s Services, more than 3,000 cases of child abuse and neglect have been reported statewide in the past 12 months.

A research-based framework called Strengthening Families can increase the well-being of children and families in Alaska. The idea behind Strengthening Families is that by increasing family strengths, child development is enhanced and the likelihood of child abuse and neglect is significantly reduced.

Strengthening Families is based on engaging families, programs and communities in building five protective factors:

Through this Strengthening Families model (see sidebar) families receive guidance in building their family strengths in an environment that promotes optimal child development.

There are many ways to build on these protective factors. For example, parents can build social connections by joining a parent group, or practice parental resilience by taking quiet time to re-energize.

Working together, we can all increase the well-being of children and families in Alaska.

To learn more about Strengthening Families, check out these websites: