How Can I Help Parents Cope with Family Stress to Prevent Child Abuse & Neglect BEFORE it Happens?




Helping parents cope with their stressors can reduce the chances that child abuse and neglect will occur. Mandated reporters have a responsibility to counsel parents and call in other community resources for primary prevention. The following summarizes the needs of parents and how you can provide counseling as well as make referrals to meet these needs:

Main database for information and community resources: In Monroe County, Llifeline is an up-to-date database of information and referral services that can help families. For information about the specific agencies and telephone numbers for community services, dial 211 or visit their web site at


1 Parents need
breaks from the kids:
All parents needs breaks from their children. If parents perceive their children as “difficult” for any reason, they need breaks even more. You can help a parent develop a list of babysitters, friends, relatives, etc. who are willing to come by when the parent needs to get away. Some communities have a crisis nursery or drop-in child care facilities, Big Brother, Big Sister Agencies, or other options for parents when they need a “time out” from their children.

Types of Services: Babysitter directories, drop-in child care centers, recreation centers, YWCA/YMCA, church groups, friends, or relatives.

2 Parents need
social support:
3 Parents need to learn what is realistic to expect of children at each developmental stage:
4 Parents need help to sort out concepts of discipline and punishment for their child:
5 Parents sometimes need help with food, clothing, housing, and other essentials:
6 Parents need professional services for children who are not matching their normal developmental stages:
7 Parents sometimes need professional services themselves:
8 Parents sometimes need help with Domestic Violence: