If you are worried about a family you know:
- Think of a reason to stop by their house (like giving some clothes your child has outgrown) and start a conversation.
- Call and let them know you are concerned and suggest you go out for coffee or invite them to your house to talk. Offer whatever means of help you feel comfortable in giving.
- Talk to a mutual friend and find out if they’d be willing to go out with the family as a group and offer support.
- Connect through the children and try to establish a relationship.
- Find some ways to interact socially, not just around a problem.
- Empathize with the parents by offering parenting suggestions based on your own experience (say things like “here’s what I am trying now…” rather than “here’s what works better…”).
- Call professionals in when necessary. If you suspect child abuse, call ChildLine at 1-800-932-0313. Find our more about how to report child abuse.
If you see something happen in public:
- Use empathy – tell the caregiver the same thing has happened to you and offer a suggestion if you can.
- Divert the caregiver’s or child’s attention by creating a distraction so things can calm down.
- Find a person in authority (like a store manager) to intervene.
- If it seems safe and necessary to do so, get the license number and call police.
If you want to help families and children in general:
- Become a mentor to a child.
- Work to make your building, street or neighborhood a safer place for kids.
- Talk to local businesses about potential “hot spots” for conflict (like candy at the checkout aisles in stores).
- Get involved in your community through a youth-serving group or organization.
You can learn more about protecting kids by attending one of our community-based Front Porch Project® prevention program sessions in your community.
Click on any of the buttons below to find out more about how you can help!
Ways You Can Prevent Child Abuse 2015 Resource Guide for Making Connections It Just Takes One