Everyday Ways YOU Can Help Prevent Child Abuse: Loving the Kids in Your Faith Community

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Several weeks ago I was helping out in my church’s nursery. A weary mom dropped her two young children off in their appropriate classrooms on the nursery hall and then made her way to the worship service, with a baby on her hip.

I remember those days well.

If ever there’s a population who needs the rest, perspective, and renewal that their faith community provides, surely it’s the parents of young children. Find more info if you need nursery and other services.

Yet many churches are struggling to keep their nurseries staffed and provide the necessary childcare for summer programs like VBS. Parents with young children, the ones who most need the break, are often the ones regularly giving and serving.

Though life moves at an ever-quickening pace and all of us, regardless of our kids’ ages, need that Saturday or Sunday service to slow down and still our hearts, this is especially crucial for those who are in the physically-demanding season of raising young children.

Children who are 100% needy unless they’re sleeping.

Children who are in diapers and potty-training and spilling juice on the floor and throwing temper tantrums.

Children who aren’t fully aware of risks so they’re prone to jumping off a too-high playground platform and darting across parking lots.

Children who take off their diapers while hanging out in their crib, who eat sand from the sandbox, and drink from whatever fermented sippy cup might be under the back seat of the minivan. {Not that my children ever did any of these things.}

I need a nap just thinking about that exhausting season of parenting.


They are sweet and fleeting years, to be sure, but the days themselves are long and demanding.

Did you ever consider that everyday opportunities in your faith community could be part of abuse prevention?

Parents in this season of life desperately need the respite we can provide simply by regular volunteering in the nursery or serving in VBS.

They need the steady encouragement we can offer as we take the time to notice their needs, offer to keep their kids so they can go grab coffee, or even provide a date night.

As Monday’s post mentioned, strong families build strong communities. And strong communities are better equipped with the resources and care that fill in the gaps.

Imagine the families grappling with the stress of young children and financial strain, young children and family discord, young children and mental illness, young children and special needs. Perhaps you’ve been there and if so, you’re especially sensitive to those burdens.

As I reflect back on my own years as a mom to little ones, my faith community was invaluable with nursery care, encouragement, and support, particularly in times of crisis. I’ve no doubt the cumulative care of my little ones kept me stable, especially during times of stress and hardship. Now that our family is in a different season, it’s a privilege to be able to serve the families of young children and know that it really does make a difference.

Consider your involvement with the parents of young children as prevention, as compassion, as kindness and service, and not just duty. Your faith community provides opportunity right where you are to lighten the burdens of parents with young children, equipping them with rest and renewal to keep going.



We have so enjoyed offering this blog series on everyday day we can all help prevent child abuse. We hope it’s encouraged you to see prevention in a way that’s doable and personal. We hope you can see that you don’t need to start your own non-profit or organize a large-scale movement.

Ultimately prevention boils down to this — loving your neighbor.

Do you desire the same thing for the children of your community that you desire for your own children and grandchildren?

It’s not as complicated as you think. It begins with paying attention to the opportunities you encounter every day — in the grocery store, at the park, in your church, as you donate the things you no longer need and give in ways that you can.

Don’t let busy-ness, preoccupation, and the heaviness of large-scale solutions hold you back from the everyday grace you can offer today to someone who needs it.

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We all have a role to play in the prevention of child abuse. Learn more about what you can do to make a difference at Pickens County First Steps or preventchildabusenc.org.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep us with our posts.

Want to know another way you can help prevent child abuse? It’s easy. Share this post with your friends! Just use the social media buttons at the bottom of this post. Together, we can make a difference!

Do you know of everyday ways to lighten a parent’s load and thereby reduce the risk of abuse in your community? Share it with us!


Other Posts in this Series

Pay Attention & Buy a Soda

Take a Meal to a New Mom

You Have What Someone Needs

6 Ways to Keep Your Family Strong

By Marian Vischer, Communications Coordinator
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