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Strong families help prevent child abuse PDF Print E-mail

By Todd Reckling, Director
Health and Human Services
We all want to be the best parents we can be, and having strong families is one of the best ways to prevent child abuse or neglect. There are some simple steps we can all take to strengthen our family and find support when we need it.
In this busy world, taking time to connect with your kids may not be easy, but it’s always worth it. Do simple everyday things like having a regular family meal night, walking the dog together, going to games, and showing interest in your child’s ideas, feelings and experiences, and keep a healthy sense of humor.
Rethinking your reaction to stress can help your family be safe and healthy.  As a parent, it’s important to find positive ways to handle frustrations or anger so you never take it out on your children.
Parenting isn’t something you have to do alone. In fact, reaching out for help or advice is good parenting. Families, friends and community services can be good resources.
Many families are eligible for voluntary services through DHHS, meaning that their children are not state wards but are at home as the family works through its issues. Other families are participating in new aftercare services, available for 12 months after a case with DHHS is closed.
A great resource for stressed parents is the Nebraska Family Helpline at (888)866-8660. DHHS contracts with Boys Town to operate the Helpline, and trained counselors are available 24/7 to help families in crisis. In 2010, the Helpline took 3,519 calls and served 2,566 individual families.