When we invest upstream in public policies that build strong families and safe children, we are investing in safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments for children. We are investing in school success and increased graduation rates; healthier, more productive future employees contributing to NC’s tax base; and reduced costs in our social services, criminal justice, educational, and health care systems. We know that the Protective Factors are conditions in families and communities that increase the health and well-being of children and families.
Policies that support families are essential for children, families, and society.
1. Make evidence-based parenting education programs available in all 100 counties in a continuum from prenatal to college. Evidence-based parenting programs are proven to reduce abuse and neglect. Examples include: Incredible Years, Strengthening Families, Nurse-Family Partnership, and Triple P–Positive Parenting.
Recommendation 5.3: Support Implementation of Evidence- Based Programs to Prevent Child Maltreatment and Promote Safe, Stable, and Nurturing Relationships and Environments
2. Increase the capability to share data about child well-being with the implementation of NC FAST, including:
a. Leverage the collection of data on social norms around children and parenting to increase public awareness and inform investments in evidence-based programs that prevent child abuse and neglect; and,
b. Foster collaboration across systems and programs including public health, social services, early childhood development, public education, and public safety.
GOAL 2: Use Data to Inform Actions
3. Recommend all elementary, middle school, and high school teachers and counselors take the FREE Recognizing and Responding to Suspicions of Child Maltreatment (R&R) course – a self-guided two-hour online training that teaches citizens and professionals the signs of abuse and neglect, what to do when they suspect it is happening, NC’s reporting law, and what happens after a report is made.
4. Increase public awareness of ACEs, Protective Factors, Resilience and ways to support families and children to change social norms around parenting; and, change the culture of North Carolina so the state’s overarching early childhood philosophy, policies, programs and practices utilize the latest brain science to prevent and mitigate the impact of adverse childhood experiences.
Recommendation 5.1: Promote Positive Community Norms Around Child Development and Parenting
5. Recommend that counties develop local Community Child Abuse Prevention Plans using the Protective Factors Framework.
Recommendation 5.2: Foster Community Support for Healthy Children and Families
6. Engage with business leaders about family friendly policies and programs in the workplace that support and strengthen families.
Recommendation 6.3: Ensure Economic Security for Children and Families
7. Advocate for state investments in the North Carolina Children’s Trust Fund (NCCFT). The NCCFT was created in 1983 with the sole purpose of preventing child abuse. Today, NCCTF generates revenue from marriage license fees, Kids First license plate fees, as well as required matching fees from CBO grant recipients.