Invest in Children
in Children and Youth;
The public has spoken!
Why invest? How do we invest? What works? The answer is prevention.
Chris Lolley, executive director of Prevent Child Abuse Florida, recently made a case for prevention based on 3 observations:
1. Prevention of child abuse is a local issue.
Researchers have proven that reporting suspected child abuse and neglect is a major deterrent. We also know that neighborhoods and families are struggling with generations of individuals caught in the trap of teenage pregnancy, drug and alcohol abuse, and criminal behavior. The same neighborhoods have a history of using harsh discipline. Local communities face an incredible task of reaching out, especially to young parents, to teach them how to find alternatives to generational methods of handling stress. Local communities have to teach individuals that it is all right to reach out for help when they need alternative strategies to deal with stressors in life and the children under their care.
2. People need help when they need help.
We could list so many reasons why people do not get the help they need – at the time that they need help. To name just a few reasons, we offer the following list of major barriers which need investment:
- Support services for children and families have a notorious history of coming and going as the funding dictates. When a person needs help (such as assistance with utilities, housing, food, and clothing), a resource may or may not be there.
- Community advocates for the homeless document the gaps in services in a document for the Federal government called The Continuum of Care. The Continuum documents services that are not available or are understaffed in communities – because we do not invest in support of children and youth.
- There are so many barriers to service delivery, including eligibility requirements, lack of transportation and access to childcare! With additional funds dedicated to investing in children and youth, these obstacles could be tackled.
3. Healthy kids achieve more.
Chris Lolley states, “We know from decades of research that children who have healthy, safe and nurturing experiences in their early years, free from abuse and neglect, perform better in school, require fewer community resources, and avoid perpetuating negative behaviors. Children who have healthy childhoods are more likely to go to college, get jobs and generally achieve more in life. “
Lolley is executive director of Prevent Child Abuse Florida, a program of the Ounce of Prevention Fund of Florida.
Invest in support of children and youth! Prevention saves lives, strengthen families and communities, and saves taxpayer money.
Just a reminder…