Building Hopeful Futures for Children

Phil redmond

Phil Redmond is the Endowment's Director of Child & Family Well-Being program area.

Children who live in families with access to economic and concrete supports are less likely to experience abuse and neglect. And science shows that positive childhood experiences — like loving caregivers and safe, stable and nurturing relationships — can help mitigate the negative impact of adverse childhood experiences. And it’s not just the parent or caregiver’s responsibility to provide this environment. We all have a responsibility to ensure children have positive experiences, and to help families access the resources they need, when they need them, before they are in crisis.

April is National Child Abuse Prevention (CAP) Month, a time when The Duke Endowment’s statewide partners like Positive Childhood Alliance North Carolina (formerly Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina) connect with families, communities, prevention advocates and supporters to build a narrative of hope for children and families through collaboration and the creation of an ecosystem of primary prevention. 

Guided by strategies rooted in both data and evidence, the Endowment supports home visiting and parenting programs, which are proven to help families cope with the trauma and stress that so many encounter every day. Evidence-based programs such as Family Connects, Incredible Years, the Strengthening Families Program, Triple P and Parents as Teachers increase positive parenting practices, nurturing behaviors and healthy communication among family members. These programs improve parental mental health and well-being by reducing maternal depression and improving parenting confidence and competency. Evidence-based home visiting and parenting education programs also improve behavior in young children, including increasing their altruism, empathy and desire to share while decreasing aggression and hyperactivity. Most importantly, these programs decrease the risk of child abuse and neglect.

The return on investment for these evidence-based programs is significant. For example, every dollar spent on Triple P brings a $7.78 return. And for every dollar supporting the Incredible Years program, there is a $5.65 return. These initiatives have proven to be an effective and efficient use of public and private investments.

The Endowment joins Positive Childhood Alliance NC and Prevent Child Abuse America in building a hopeful future by creating an ecosystem of prevention that does not currently exist. This will require the work of our network and yours. You can join us in this work to protect children, our nation’s most vulnerable members. Together, let’s support efforts to prioritize kids and invest in more family-strengthening policies, economic supports and community-based child abuse prevention programs at the national, state and local levels. 

Prevention is hard work, but it is also heart work. We believe there are enough of us who believe in fairness, equity and the vision of a great future for all children. Together, we can nurture more positive childhoods, North Carolina…because childhood lasts a lifetime.

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