American Humane Association Expands the Front Porch Project® to Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect in Pennsylvania

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Working with the Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance, selected communities across the state will begin implementing the Front Porch Project®, American Humane Association’s research-supported, community-based initiative to prevent child abuse and neglect.

Over four days in April and May, American Humane Association will train professionals and other community members selected by Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance on how to locally deliver the Front Porch Project’s community training. As the cornerstone of the Front Porch Project, the community training equips people with the knowledge, tools and action steps necessary to intervene appropriately to help protect the safety and well-being of children and to help parents and families do the same. With the support and oversight of the Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance, these new trainers will use the information and techniques they learn to deliver the training to members of their local communities.

The underlying premise of the Front Porch Project is that everyone has a role in keeping children safe from abuse and neglect, while supporting and strengthening families in their communities.

Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance Executive Director Angela Liddle explains the need for such an initiative, “The Front Porch Project gives ordinary people the knowledge and confidence to make a difference. The more education and training we can provide, the better chance we have of averting a tragedy where a child suffers or dies.” Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance’s role will be to oversee the delivery of the Front Porch Project community training in selected communities across the state.

Each community in the U.S. has a public child welfare system that is mandated to ensure the safety, family stability and well-being of its children, including responding to allegations of child abuse and neglect. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services report Child Maltreatment 2009, approximately 763,000 children were confirmed victims of physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse or neglect in the U.S. in 2008 (the most recent data available). This data indicates that the responsibility of protecting children is too great and too important to be delegated only to public child welfare agencies. Concerned individuals, families and communities must become involved and take on the civic and personal responsibility of protecting children and supporting families in their own neighborhoods, particularly before abuse or neglect ever occurs.

Research conducted by Prevent Child Abuse America shows that a majority of Americans -- more than half of the general public and two-thirds of all parents -- are willing to become involved in helping prevent child abuse and neglect. But, they also feel they lack the knowledge and skills to intervene safely and effectively. That’s what the Front Porch Project is all about -- providing the information, skills and practice that help community members grow their relationships with one another; building stronger communities; contributing to the healthy development of children; and keeping children safe.

For more information about American Humane Association’s Front Porch Project, visit www.americanhumane.org/frontporch.

About American Humane Association

Since 1877, the historic American Humane Association has been at the forefront of every major advancement in protecting children, pets and farm animals from cruelty and abuse and neglect. Today we’re also leading the way in understanding human-animal interaction and its role in society. As the nation’s voice for the protection of children and animals, American Humane Association reaches millions of people every day through groundbreaking research, education, training and services that span a wide network of organizations, agencies and businesses. You can help make a difference, too. Visit American Humane Association at www.americanhumane.org today.

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