Child Safety

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  • Leaving Your Child Home Alone
    This resource from the Child Welfare Information Gateway outlines considerations for families before leaving their children home alone, provides tips for parents, and lists general and state-specific home-alone resources.  (September 2013)

  • Infant Safe Haven Laws
    This Child Welfare Information Gateway factsheet discusses State laws that provide safe places for parents to relinquish newborn infants. The purpose of these laws is to prevent babies from being abandoned at places where they may come to harm. The responsibilities of and immunity from liability for providers who accept the infants, legal protections from prosecution for the parents, and the effect of relinquishment on parental rights also are discussed. Summaries of laws for all States and U.S. territories are included. (February 2013)

  • RISS Insights, no. 21: Understanding Suicide and Self-Harm Amongst Children in Care and Care Leavers
    Self-harm and suicide are complex issues which arouse difficult and distressing emotions both within people who hurt themselves and those who love and care for them. When children hurt or try to kill themselves, adults responsible for them often feel confused, powerless and overwhelmed. If these children are looked after away from their families then all the professionals involved with them must be able to provide them with the understanding and support they require. Examining the research and literature about self-harm and suicide is an essential element in developing understanding. Many important studies reported in this paper are quantitative or have been undertaken from a medical perspective, but in reviewing them it is important to maintain a focus on the pain and emotional complexities for all involved. “Insights” evidence summaries are published by IRISS (Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services) to support social services in Scotland. IRISS Insights no. 21 was written by Judy Furnivall. (June 2013)

  • Bilingual Safety Guides for Children and Teens
    Every day, children and teenagers enter the United States unaccompanied by parents or other caring adults and without legal documentation. These unaccompanied children often come to reunite with family, work, or pursue an education. Some may be fleeing violence and abuse, avoiding gang persecution and recruitment, or escaping political and religious persecution. When unaccompanied immigrant children enter Federal custody, most are placed in the care of the Division of Children’s Services (DCS) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). Residential care provided by ORR is based on child welfare principles and ranges from foster care to secure facilities, based on children’s needs. Bridging Refugee Youth and Children’s Services (BRYCS) has developed children’s and teenager’s guides to personal safety – the first publications created for the unaccompanied youth themselves. These personal guides are intended to assist young people in knowing their rights while they are in the United States, and to help keep them safe so they can thrive in their life journeys. Each guide provides information in both English and Spanish. (2013)
  • CBCAP: A Success Story
    This video from the Children’s Bureau, produced in collaboration with Child Welfare Information Gateway and FRIENDS National Resource Center for Community-Based Abuse Prevention (CBCAP), highlights CBCAP programs in Virginia, Maryland, and West Virginia.  The video emphasizes the importance of child abuse prevention across the nation.  It is available in both English and Spanish.

  • Tracking Child Abuse and Neglect: The Role of Multiple Data Sources in Improving Child Safety
    PolicyLab at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has developed this Evidence to Action brief, which identifies strategies to improve the surveillance and tracking of child abuse and neglect. This brief provides tools and case examples to help agency administrators: 1) Compare aggregate results from multiple data sources, 2) Link case-based data from multiple sources, and 3) Establish uniform data definitions and data collection protocols. Recent data show U.S. rates of child abuse not declining as suggested by national reporting systems. Instead, hospital data indicate that rates of the most severe cases of abuse are increasing. To address this disconnect, the brief suggests the need for more comprehensive strategies to capture trends in maltreatment. (Fall 2012)
  • Child Safety: Curricula for Children 
    This document presents some information about the effectiveness of school-based abuse prevention programs, reviews several such programs, and provides information about additional resources, websites, and references. (2004)
  • Child Safety: A Guide for Judges and Attorneys
    This Guide is a collaboration of the National Resource Center for Child Protective Services and the National Child Welfare Resource Center on Legal and Judicial Issues. The Guide is written primarily for judges, but anyone in the legal community who participates in the child safety decision making process should find the content useful. This Guide does not contain a “model” for child safety decision making. Rather, it uses a framework that centers on the logical steps of decision making, emphasizing the need for a sequential process that is grounded in principles of critical thinking and rigorous and precise analysis. All portions of the Guide can be used to foster more constructive discussion between Child Welfare and the legal community, with the goal of reaching more meaningful solutions and greater innovation when making child safety decisions. (2009)
  • Safety Intervention Policy Standards and Agency Self-Assessment
    This publication was developed by the National Resource Center for Child Protective Services to assist your agency in assessing the quality, precision, and clarity of policy in relationship to its relevance to the line worker and front line supervisors. (February 2007)
  • Child Maltreatment Reports
    These annual publications present data on child maltreatment collected by the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS) from state child protective services (CPS) agencies. Included in the reports are national- and state-level findings on perpetrators of maltreatment, CPS work force workload, and preventive and post-investigation services. The reports are intended for use by policymakers, child welfare practitioners, researchers, and others concerned with child well-being.
  • State Responses to Allegations of Maltreatment in Out-Of-Home Care
    The goal of this state policy analysis from Child Welfare League of America and Casey Family Programs is to report on the degree to which state statutes and agency policies provide clear direction for the investigation of, and response to, reports of maltreatment of children who are in foster care. Sixteen states responded to a survey with sufficient materials to be included in the full analysis. Less-detailed information was received from eight other states either through e-mail communications or online resources. Although these states are not included in the detailed analysis, a brief report on materials received from these states is included in a separate discussion.
  • CWLA Best Practice Guidelines: Child Maltreatment in Foster Care
    Allegations of maltreatment of children in foster care are made for an array of reasons. It is most important to identify those instances in which the child is in danger or at risk of harm. Responses to and investigations of these allegations must be conducted in a skilled and objective manner to ensure the child's safety, prevent unnecessary disruption to the child, foster family, and birthparents, and minimize trauma to all parties. These Guidelines, developed in partnership with Casey Family Programs, provide comprehensive, quality practices for the prevention, response, and investigation of out-of-home maltreatment. Using sound administrative and casework practices, professionals learn how to prevent such incidents, whenever possible, and competently respond to and investigate those situations in which allegations of abuse and neglect in foster families occur. (2003)
  • Another Look at the Effects of Child Abuse
    This study in the National Institute of Justice Journal found a relationship between removing a child from parental care and later delinquent and criminal behavior. It also showed that children who were removed from the custody of a parent or primary caregiver and placed in foster care with nonrelatives were significantly more likely to be arrested—as juveniles, as adults, for a violent crime, and for any crime. Moreover, children who were initially left with a primary caregiver when the abuse or neglect was identified, and who were subsequently moved to foster care, showed even greater levels of arrest in all forms than victimized children who were moved right away or who remained with their primary caregiver until the age of 18. This finding suggests that further research is needed to understand the characteristics of families and children removed from parental custody; to determine what types of behavior lead to the removal of a child; and to discover which factors influence whether a child is placed in foster care, placed with relatives, or left with the primary caregiver.
  • Healing the Invisible Wounds: Children's Exposure to Violence
    Healing the Invisible Wounds: Children's Exposure to Violence is a resource to help parents and other caregivers understand the potential impact of exposure to violence on the development of their children. It provides practical suggestions for supporting the healing process. Recommended strategies are tailored to children based on age (birth to 6, 7 to 11, and 12 to 18) and are easily integrated into every day interactions. The booklet is available in English and Spanish and can be downloaded from the Safe Start Center website.
  • Making and Screening Reports of Child Abuse and Neglect
    This publication by the Child Welfare Information Gateway will familiarize you with the procedures for making reports of suspected child abuse or neglect, the required content of reports, and special procedures for filing reports of suspicious deaths and substance-exposed newborns. It includes clear criteria for screening reports by child protective services, timeframes for initiating investigations, and differing methods of agency response. Additionally, this webpage links to information on this topic for all States and Territories. (2009)

  • Children's Exposure to Violence: A Comprehensive National Survey
    Juvenile Justice Bulletin Presents findings from the National Survey of Children’s Exposure to Violence, the most comprehensive survey to date of children’s exposure to violence in the United States. The survey was conducted between January and May 2008, and surveyed more than 4,500 children or their parents or adult caregivers regarding their past-year and lifetime exposure to violence. This Bulletin discusses the survey’s findings regard children’s direct and indirect exposure to specific categories of violence, how exposure to violence changes as children grow up, and the prevalence and incidence of multiple and cumulative exposures to violence. It also discusses the implications of the survey findings for policymakers, researchers, and practitioners who work with juvenile victims of violence. (2009)
  • Creating Safety and Stability for Children Exposed to Family Violence: A Working Paper for Family to Family Sites
    The purpose of this issue brief from the Family Violence Prevention Fund is to provide information that can be used by F2F grantees to expand, improve and complement their current practices to respond to the needs of families experiencing domestic violence that are in the child welfare system. The dynamics of child maltreatment and domestic violence are varied and complex and no guideline can anticipate every individual child or family’s unique circumstances. The safety and protection from imminent harm for all individuals must always be the overriding concern. (October 2006)

  • Q and A About Safety Intervention
    This article from Action for Children explores why there are so few in-home safety plans among child welfare cases, the misconception that relative placements are in-home safety plans, and the need for supervisor approval of safety decisions. Examples of safety actions are given for behavior management, crisis management, social connection, separation, and resource support. (2011)

Curricula and Trainings

  • Dating Matters: Understanding Teen Dating Violence Prevention
    Teen dating violence is a growing public health issue. In a nationwide survey of students in grades 9-12, nearly one in 10 students reported being hit or physically hurt on purpose by a boyfriend or girlfriend at least once in the past 12 months. Dating Matters: Understanding Teen Dating Violence Prevention is a 60-minute, web-based training designed to help educators, youth-serving organizations, and others working with teens understand the risk factors and warning signs associated with teen dating violence. Developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in partnership with Liz Claiborne Inc., Dating Matters also highlights the importance of promoting healthy relationships. (2010)

PowerPoint Presentation

  • Child Abuse and Neglect Symposium PowerPoint
    This Child Abuse and Neglect Symposium PowerPoint Presentation from NRCPFC reviews the role of legally mandated reporters, the moral and ethical obligations of social workers to report, definitions and dynamics of abuse and neglect, and signs of physical, sexual, and emotional abuse.

NRCPFC Information Packets


  • Take Action to Protect Children
    The Attorney General’s Defending Childhood Initiative has launched this webpage offering resources, tips, and hotlines to support professionals, parents and caregivers, and community members in their efforts to address children’s exposure to violence. The “Take Action” section on the right side of the webpage offers information and online resources for people in various roles and professionals from various fields who work with children who experience or witness violence.

  • Child Welfare Information Gateway
    The Gateway is a service of the Children's Bureau, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The mission of the Gateway is to connect professionals and concerned citizens to timely and well-balanced information on programs, research, legislation, and statistics regarding the safety, permanency, and well-being of children and families.
  • FRIENDS National Resource Center for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention
    FRIENDS NRCCBCAP provides training and technical assistance to Federally funded Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention (CBCAP) Programs. This site serves as a resource to those programs and to the rest of the Child Abuse Prevention community. FRIENDS is a service of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Children’s Bureau, and member of the T&TA Network. 
  • National Resource Center for Child Protective Services
    NRCCPS is committed to improving outcomes for children and families by helping public child welfare agencies improve child protection practice. Through the lens of Implementation Science, they design technical assistance that is tailored and specific to each jurisdiction. NRCCPS is a service of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Children’s Bureau, and member of the T&TA Network. 
  • Safety and Well-Being for Immigrant and Refugee Children and FamiliesProtecting the safety and well-being of immigrant and refugee families in the child welfare system requires knowledge about the laws affecting immigrant families and awareness of specific considerations. With this knowledge, we can better ensure that those families can access available services and support. On this website from the Wisconsin Department of Children & Families, you will find resources such as basic immigration laws as they affect children and families in the child welfare system, guides for determining eligibility for social services, and other resources to assist social workers, families, and others involved in the child welfare system.
  • The Crimes Against Children Research Center
    The CCRC aims to combat crimes against children by providing research and statistics to policymakers, law enforcement personnel, child welfare practitioners, and the general public. The CCRC website provides a variety of information and resources relating to the victimization of children, including survey instruments, survey results, and reports on topics ranging from the decline in sexual abuse cases to bullying, Internet crimes against juveniles, and juvenile prostitution.
  • Safe Kids and You
    This website is an online community where parents can connect with other parents, as well as health and safety professionals who want to share information about unintentional injury prevention.
  • Bridging Refugee Youth & Children’s Services (BRYCS)
    Bridging Refugee Youth and Children’s Services provides national technical assistance to organizations serving refugees and immigrants so that all newcomer children and youth can reach their potential. The BRYCS website offers a variety of resources on child safety.


Last updated 1/30/14