Prevent Child Abuse

Child Development is Core to the Story of Preventing Child Abuse

Child development is the foundation for community development and economic prosperity. Our community prospers when our kids thrive. They are our future workforce, leaders, neighbors and community members. No matter where you live –– everyone has the power to make great childhoods happen – especially you.

The basic architecture of the brain is constructed through an ongoing process that begins before birth and continues into adulthood. Brains are built from the bottom up.

The interaction of genes and experiences shapes the developing brain and relationships are the active ingredient in this serve and return process.

Cognitive, emotional and social capacities are intertwined, and learning, behavior and physical and mental health are inter-related over the course of our lives.

Research shows when children experience prolonged and significant adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) such as poverty, abuse, or neglect without adequate adult support to buffer their experiences, it becomes toxic and impacts their brain architecture.

This toxic stress can lead to health and learning problems preventing children from realizing their potential and fully contributing to Colorado’s future and our economic prosperity.

Addressing one of the biggest public health crises in our state.

The interaction of genes and experiences shapes the developing brain and relationships are the active ingredient in this serve and return process.

Cognitive, emotional and social capacities are intertwined, and learning, behavior and physical and mental health are inter-related over the course of our lives.

Good news – we already know what to do.

While the link between adverse experiences in childhood and poor health outcomes later in life as an adult has been researched and clearly established over the last several decades, research has also shown the five “protective factors” have the power to prevent and reduce the likelihood of child abuse and neglect. When we increase these five protective factors for ALL families, we strengthen families, prevent child abuse and create great childhoods.

Strengthening Families

​Strengthening Families™ is a research-informed approach to increase family strengths, enhance child development and reduce the likelihood of child abuse and neglect. It is based on engaging families, programs and communities in building five key protective factors:

Parental Resilience

Managing stress and functioning well when faced with challenges, adversity and trauma.​

Social Connections

Positive relationships that provide emotional, informational, instrumental and spiritual support.

Knowledge of Parenting & Child Development

Understanding child development and parenting strategies that support physical, cognitive, language, social and emotional development.​

Concrete Support in Times of Need

Access to concrete support and services that address a family’s needs and help minimize stress caused by challenges.

Social & Emotional Competence of Children

Family and child interactions that help children develop skills so they can manage their emotions and build healthy relationships.