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Child Abuse & How Community Members Can Make A Difference


Prevention of Child Abuse Comes in Many Forms

Steve coaches baseball for the local little league, giving kids encouragement (and Gatorade) at practices after school and during weekend games. Ashley volunteers in her church nursery, loving on babies and giving parents a needed break. Cedric spends time mentoring elementary school kids through a local agency, teaching them about life, working hard, and how to do a behind-the-back pass on the basketball court. And even though they might not realize it, Steve, Ashley, and Cedric are all preventing child abuse and neglect.

When communities are full of active, supportive adults, children grow up feeling secure and valued. And while only 27% of Americans report that they are engaged in prevention,

  • 80% of Americans reported donating goods, money or time to an organization supporting children and families,
  • 70% reported volunteering with children through places of worship, schools, and sports or academic clubs, and
  • 56% provided mentorship to a child in their family, neighborhood or community.

What does effective support and protection of children look like?

These are all effective, meaningful ways to protect children and support happy, healthy childhoods! Whether or not you have children, you can have a profound impact on their well-being. It only takes ONE caring, supportive relationship with an adult to positively impact a child’s long-term success.

No matter if you are a parent, a grandparent, a neighbor, a coach, a teacher or simply a friend, know that when you spend time making children feel supported and valued, you are building a layer of protection around them, preparing them not only for a lifetime of success but also building their resilience for when the road gets rocky.

How to Make a Difference in A Child’s Life

While there are countless ways you can make a difference in a child’s life, here is a list of five things that EVERY child needs:

  1. Holding and cuddling does more than just comfort; it helps children’s brains to grow and develop.
  2. Music expands a child’s world, teaches new skills, and offers a fun way to interact.
  3. Talking with a child helps to build verbal skills needed to succeed in school and later in life.
  4. Play activities help children explore and develop their senses and discover how the world works.
  5. Reading to children from the earliest days of life shows its importance and creates a lifelong love of books.

It’s important, too, to recognize the people who are playing these important parts in the lives of children. That’s what Prevent Child Abuse Tennesee’s #PassThePinwheel campaign is all about. It’s about calling attention to all the people who are preventing the abuse and neglect of children, even when they don’t realize that’s what they are doing. So find someone who is doing great things for kids – or maybe someone made a difference in your own childhood – and Pass the Pinwheel to them! When we all work together, we can make sure that every child experiences the happy, healthy childhood they deserve.

STARS is deeply committed to creating a culture and work space that centers on the power of relationships, that values diversity of perspective and experience, and that honors the dignity, worth, and contributions of all.