Executive Summary

In the early 1990s, the U.S. Advisory Board on Child Abuse & Neglect cited the failure of a reporting- investigation

approach to prevent child maltreatment and called for the development of a neighborhood- based child protection system.

The Board maintained that if child protection were embedded in the social fabric of neighborhoods and communities in such a way that assisting families with young children and keeping children safe from harm was a social norm, communities would be strong, families would be supported, and children would be safer. Strong Communities for Children (Strong Communities) sought to implement the Advisory Board’s recommendation, and initial findings were promising. To help Upbring, the new Lutheran Social Services of the South, in its effort to build the protective factors in communities needed to successfully bring up all Texas children, this white paper details the theoretical framework, model, and strategies that guided Strong Communities. It also provides approaches for measuring effectiveness and adaptations that have been made in replication efforts.

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