Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention: How to Do It Better

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Jane Burstain /(512) 320-0222 x119

September 21, 2010

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The best way to reduce the number of children in foster care is to prevent child abuse and neglect from occurring in the first place. But this is easier said than done, especially in Texas where funding prevention has not been a priority. Even in this difficult economic environment, however, the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) can maximize the effect of the limited resources it has.

We are not suggesting that DFPS should choose among its various prevention programs or reduce funding for one to give more support to another. All of its prevention programs provide important services to vulnerable constituencies. Instead, DFPS needs to be more strategic in targeting where services are provided and ensure that it builds community capacity. This policy page suggests several ways in which it can do so and, thereby, ensure the most vulnerable communities have the services they need to support families and keep children safe.