When you read headlines about child abuse or neglect, you may feel powerless to help. None of us can protect every child all the time, but we can take steps to protect the children in our homes, churches, and communities. Child abuse and neglect crosses all boundaries of class, ethnicity, education level, and religion. It is the job of adults to do the strong and courageous work of protecting children and youth. We need to pay attention, care, and act.
Faith communities often provide valuable support for people of all ages and all walks of life and are typically great places for children and families. Research shows that faith communities that actively work to address child abuse and neglect exert a highly protective influence upon children in their congregations and in their communities. Whether it’s a church, synagogue, or mosque or a school, child-care facility, or camp, attention to child and youth safety must be paramount.