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Community Partnerships for Protecting Children is an approach that neighborhoods, towns, cities, and states can adopt to improve how children are protected from maltreatment.
It aims to blend the work and expertise of professionals and community members to bolster supports for vulnerable families and children.
Community partnerships is not a program - rather, it is a way of working with families that helps services be more inviting, needs-based, accessible, and relevant.
It incorporates prevention strategies as well as those needed to address maltreatment, once identified.
This new approach to keeping children safe is needed because:
• Child safety is a 24 hours a day, 7 days a week concern. The Child Protective Services agency cannot do it alone.
• Services that can help strengthen families need to be made available earlier, before a crisis occurs.
• Families are more likely to turn to people they know for help rather than to the system.
The community partnership approach is based on four fundamental principles:
• Services for vulnerable families should be individualized to address each child's and each family's specific needs.
• Formal and informal supports and services should be available to families through a neighborhood- and community-based network.
• The Public Child Protective Services agency should adapt its policies and practices to support the approach, including providing services to families earlier, before crises occur.
• Community members, especially parents, should be involved in shaping the strategies and the network of services provided for families, based on the community's own resources, needs and cultures.