April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, an opportunity to remember how our community can come together to for the well-being of all children in San Diego. Since research suggests that poverty isolation, substance abuse and mental health issues are leading causes of maltreatment, preventing child abuse and neglect starts with making sure families can stay strong and connected in moments of crisis or adversity. When we invest in our families today, we prevent child abuse and neglect, reduce the need for reliance on public assistance, and maintain long-term well-being for everyone in our community.

A New Effort in Our Community

YMCA Childcare Resource Service (CRS) brings this important conversation to San Diego as a lead agency in Partners in Prevention, a new, collaborative project that helps families increase their protective factors – the skills, experiences, and resources necessary to prevent negative outcomes and foster family wellbeing.  

In order to increase family protective factors, the project aligns community resources to streamline the way a family accesses resources, such as public benefits, housing, or services with government agencies like Child Welfare Services. The project honors participating families as experts, using ongoing feedback sessions to inform program design and consistently assessing family strengths and needs using the Community Information Exchange database with 2-1-1 San Diego. The project also incorporates Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation, a proven practice that helps young children, parents, and childcare providers decrease challenging behaviors in children and increase their ability to manage emotions and successfully develop relationships with peers and adults.

This effort is the culmination of YMCA CRS’ 40 years in the community, catalyzing the relationships, collaboration, and infrastructure that move family well-being activities upstream within government systems and community resources. Click the image below to learn more about the how YMCA CRS is working with County of San Diego Child Welfare Services and research and evaluation partners Harder + Co. Community Research and the Social Policy Institute at San Diego State University on this effort. To support the YMCA’s work to prevent child abuse and neglect donate here [CoU page]. For more information about the Partners in Prevention project contact Lexie Palacio ([email protected]), Partners in Prevention Community Collaborative Direction and sign up here to receive our latest news here.