The goal of child maltreatment prevention is to stop child abuse and neglect from happening. Increasing prevention activities to protect children can reduce the occurrence of abuse. Preventing child maltreatment means influencing individual behaviors, relationships among families and neighbors, community involvement, and the culture of a society. To create safe, stable, and nuturing environments for children, prevention strategies must include programs that focus on attitude change and on modifying policies and societal norms to create safe, stable, and nurturing environments.
The West Virginia Home Visitation Program (WVHVP) and the West Virginia Violence and Injury Prevention Program (WVVIPP) will work together to improve the implementation and evaluation of evidence-based home visitation models in the State. Evidence-based home visitation models in West Virginia include Parents as Teachers (PAT), Healthy Families America (HFA) and Early Head Start-Home Based Option (EHS). The WVHVP, which is part of the Office of Maternal, Child and Family Health at the WV DHHR, involves partnerships at the federal, state, and community levels to help families in need. The program is available for pregnant women and all children aged birth to five.
The promotion of Positive Community Norms (PCN) is being tested in West Virginia to address attitudes around home visiting and messaging. Working in collaboration with TEAM for West Virginia Children, Prevent Child Abuse West Virginia and the Center for Health and Safety Culture at Montana State University, the WVHVP has implemented a very promising scientific PCN approach to:
- Grow positive parenting norms supporting safe, stable nurturing relationships;
- Create safe sleeping environments and behaviors; and
- Reduce Shaken-Baby Syndrome.
The WVHVP, in partnership with the WVVIPP will explore options to expand the evidence-based PCN process to determine appropriate messaging for families and communities, growing positive community norms, and reducing high-risk behaviors leading to intimate partner violence and child maltreatment.
West Virginia Home Visitation Program (WVHVP)
Parents as Teachers (PAT)
Healthy Families America (HFA)
Early Head Start-Home Based Option (EHS)
TEAM for West Virginia Children
Prevent Child Abuse West Virginia
Center for Health and Safety Culture at Montana State University