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PREVENTION. WHAT IS IT?. June 2008. What is Prevention?.

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June 2008

What is prevention
What is Prevention?

  • Prevention is the act of impeding, or preventing, something from happening such as disease or a social condition. Many prevention programs are centered around ways to prevent illness, crime, terrorism, child abuse and neglect, and violence.

Three stages of prevention
Three Stages of Prevention

  • There are three stages of Prevention:

    • Primary

    • Secondary

    • Tertiary

Primary prevention
Primary Prevention

  • Primary Prevention programs are also known as “Universal” programs.

  • The target audience of Primary Prevention programs is the general population.

  • The activities used in Primary Prevention are designed to stop maltreatment before it occurs.

Activities of primary prevention programs
Activities of Primary Prevention Programs general welfare of children and families.

  • For Child Abuse and Neglect Primary Prevention Programs, activities may include:

    • Public Service Announcements (PSAs)

      • PSAs may be used to promote issues such as healthy parent/child relationships, the dangers of shaking a baby, or how to create a safe sleep environment.

      • PSAs may be one small component of a bigger awareness campaign.

  • Public Awareness Campaigns general welfare of children and families.

    • These campaigns may include a variety of activities such as brochures, presentations, posters, web sites, and other promotional activities.

    • The focus of a campaign could be where and how to report child abuse and neglect orhow parents can best handle stress.

  • Parent education programs and support groups general welfare of children and families.

    • These programs may focus on age appropriate expectations, child development, and the roles and responsibilities of parenting. (Child Welfare Information Gateway)

  • Family support and family strengthening programs

    • These programs enhance a family’s ability to find resources and access existing services.

Secondary prevention
Secondary Prevention general welfare of children and families.

  • Secondary Prevention programs are aimed at families or communities who are high risk for child abuse and neglect. Services may be targeted for certain populations.

  • For example, a target audience may be parents who are struggling with one of the following: poverty, young parental age, substance abuse, or mental health concerns.

Activities of secondary prevention programs
Activities of Secondary Prevention Programs general welfare of children and families.

  • For Child Abuse and Neglect Secondary Prevention Programs, activities may include:

    • Home Visiting Programs that provide support and education to new parents and expecting parents.

    • Parent Support groups that help parents deal with stress and challenges.

Tertiary prevention
Tertiary Prevention parents.

  • Tertiary prevention programs are designed for families that have experienced child abuse and neglect.

  • Services provided after the occurrence of child abuse and neglect are designed to prevent the recurrence of future abuse.

Activities of tertiary prevention programs
Activities of Tertiary Prevention Programs parents.

  • For Child Abuse and Neglect Tertiary Prevention Programs, activities may include:

    • Mental health services for children and families affected by maltreatment in an effort to improve family functioning.

    • Parent support groups that help families transform negative parenting practices into positive parenting behaviors.

  • Parent mentor programs with non-abusive family members serving as role models and providing support to family members.

  • Intensive family preservation services with trained mental health counselors that are available to families 24 hours a day for a short period of time, such as six to eight weeks.

    (Child Welfare Information Gateway)

For prevention to work
For Prevention to Work… serving as role models and providing support to family members.

  • Prevention efforts need to come from both communities and individuals in order for it to be successful.

  • What can you do in your local community?

For more information visit these websites
For More Information, Visit These Websites serving as role models and providing support to family members.

  • Children’s Safety Network,

  • Child Welfare Information Gateway,

  • Child,

  • Idaho Children’s Trust Fund,

Missouri department of social services state technical assistance team
Missouri Department of Social Services State Technical Assistance Team


PO Box 208Jefferson City, MO 65102-0208

Telephone: (573) 751-5980(800) 487-1626(8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST, Monday – Friday)


[email protected]