Posted: October 3, 2022
By Nina Tracy, Prevent Child Abuse NC Policy Analyst

Just about anyone who works in the world of policy will tell you that it can be easy to grow discouraged when you’re working in pursuit of long-term policy and systems change. However, following the completion of our recent qualitative study, Policymaker Perspectives on Child Maltreatment Prevention in NC, the Policy Team at Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina (PCANC) have found ourselves savoring a sense of hope. Why?

  • EVERY policymaker we spoke to believed both they and the government have a role in child maltreatment prevention. And they felt that prevention is important.
  • Most policymakers were familiar with Adverse Childhood Experiences.
  • The concepts of Social Determinants of Health and Adverse Community Experiences seemed promising in moving the conversation from individual to systems-level solutions.
  • Discussions using the term ‘family-friendly workplace policies’ focused largely on the benefits of such policies, and this group of policies were widely understood to include paid leave.
  • There are clear and promising paths forward for increasing access to home visiting and parenting education programs, as well as to enacting paid family and medical leave policies.
  • Policymakers felt inspired and hopeful when thinking about children and their futures.

…And so much more! After receiving Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval from Salus IRB, the Policy and Evaluation Teams at PCANC conducted semi-structured qualitative interviews with 26 policymakers from across North Carolina between November 2021 and February 2022.

These interviews were conducted in alignment with the Bellwether Methodology, a design crafted specifically for qualitative research with influential people (“bellwethers”) in public and private sectors “whose positions require that they track a broad range of policy issues.” We sought to understand their perspectives in the following ways:

The Policy Team at PCANC is thrilled to now announce the release of the full report, Forward with Hope, from our research study, Policymaker Perspectives on Child Maltreatment Prevention in NC.

This comprehensive report covers relevant background on Adverse Childhood and Community Experiences, Social Determinants of Health, prevention, home visiting, parenting education, paid leave, and why we chose to focus on these topics. We then discuss the study’s methods and take a deep dive into the findings and implications.

For a preview of the report’s contents, check out our Executive Summary. You can also explore the Taking Action! guide for our recommended action steps based on our findings. Additionally, a May 2022 webinar covering high-level findings is available here.

PCANC’s Policy Team is committed to advocating for policies that strengthen families and prevent child maltreatment. We can prevent child abuse and neglect, North Carolina! Check out our policy page to learn more about our work and how you can help nurture positive childhoods.

Read the Report

Please reach out to PCANC’s Policy Director, Melea Rose-Waters, with any questions or to learn more about the primary prevention of child abuse and neglect in North Carolina.

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