True Prevention: Parents who need support will be provided concrete services to improve their situations

What is “true prevention”?  It’s when abuse and neglect is actually stopped BEFORE it happens.  Thus, it does NOT occur.  The Return on Investment (ROI) is difficult to conceptualize when discussing specific legislative policies, how much they cost, and what the true effects might be; this creates a problem when legislative bodies want tangible results for their efforts and budget approvals.  However, we cannot underestimate the cost savings in human suffering, long-term societal effects, and lifelong well-being that True Prevention promotes. Some groups have pushed for universal home visiting and predictive analytics calling these “child abuse and neglect prevention,” but the Institute believes that true prevention should come in the form of concrete help for families to ensure that they can become self-sufficient.  Since poverty is often mistaken for neglect, some home visiting programs, and by nature most predictive analytics programs, serve merely as government surveillance programs.  A concrete service is a “hard” service such as short-term limited utility/rent help, transportation support, or affordable housing instead a “soft service” like case management, visiting programs, and classes. Research has shown that many family preservation and child abuse and neglect prevention programs exist that help the family in a concrete way while respecting parental rights.