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18 April 2019

“Upstream approach” gains support in U.S. Congress and among leading advocates

Helping families and communities to be stronger and healthier is the key to preventing child abuse and neglect, and Triple P’s suite of parenting support interventions offers an evidence-based way to build community capacity; that will be the message presented this week to the National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect (NCCAN) in Washington.

The same message was given recently by Triple P America CEO, Bradley Thomas, to a Congressional sub-committee hearing on the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA).

This Thursday, Sara van Driel, Ph.D., an Implementation Consultant with Triple P America, will explain to NCCAN conference delegates the importance of giving support to families before children are harmed, rather than after, by strengthening ALL families as part of regional public-health style rollouts of parenting support.

Her co-presenters Marshall Tyson (North Carolina Division of Public Health), and Kristin O’Connor (North Carolina Division of Social Services), will also cover how North Carolina have succesfully implemented Triple P in more than 40 counties through a collaborative funding model.

Researchers, policy-makers and those working directly with families are becoming more aware that prevention is the way forward when it comes to dealing with the social and economic cost of child abuse and neglect, on individuals, families, and communities.

Marissa Morabito-Reilly of Prevent Child Abuse America (PCAA), encouraged by the bipartisan support being given to preventing child abuse and neglect, described last month’s Congressional hearing as “a historic day for primary prevention on Capitol Hill”, noting that Chairman Scott (D-VA) and Ranking Member Foxx (R-NC), of the House Committee on Education and Labor, attended the sub-committee hearings, underscoring the importance of the issue and the proposals being considered.

Mr. Thomas, in his remarks to the Congressional hearing, focused on the crucial work being done by child abuse prevention programs in each state, and the importance of prevention programs being designed to reach a broad population.

He spoke about the importance of building community capacity by working closely with both local organizations and “appropriate lead agencies with demonstrated commitment such as the National Alliance of Children's Trust and Prevention Funds and Prevent Child Abuse America Chapters”.

Across the United States, child abuse prevention programs are now increasingly making use of the Triple P – Positive Parenting Program to reach a broad population as part of this preventative strategy.

A number of grassroots organizations fund parenting support initiatives through CB-CAP (Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention) grants.

For more information, feel free to contact Bradley Thomas directly