Abuse and Neglect: Conclusion and References

This information was taken directly from Child Welfare Information Gateway


Preventing child abuse is not simply a matter of parents doing a better job, but rather it is about creating a context in which “doing better” is easier. Enlightened public policy and the replication of high-quality publicly supported interventions are only part of what is needed to successfully combat child abuse. It remains important to remind the public that child abuse and neglect are serious threats to a child’s healthy development and that overt violence toward children and a persistent lack of attention to their care and supervision are unacceptable. Individuals have the ability to accept personal responsibility for reducing acts of child abuse and neglect by providing support to each other and offering protection to all children within their family and their community. As sociologist Robert Wuthnow has noted, every volunteer effort or act of compassion finds its justification not in offering solutions for society’s problems but in offering hope “both that the good society we envision is possible and that the very act of helping each other gives us strength and a common destiny” (Wuthnow, 1991: 304). When the problem is owned by all individuals and communities, prevention will progress, and fewer children will remain at risk.


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Child Welfare Information Gateway. (2011). Child maltreatment prevention: Past, present, and future. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Children’s Bureau.