Wisconsin Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board

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The Wisconsin Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board is committed to mobilizing research and practices that prevent child abuse and neglect in Wisconsin. The Prevention Board’s work includes providing statewide leadership and expertise on best practices in child maltreatment prevention and advancing policies related to family support and child maltreatment prevention. The Prevention Board funds local and statewide child maltreatment prevention efforts, provides education on strengthening families and child maltreatment prevention, and promotes public awareness that build on family strengths and reduce the likelihood of child maltreatment. Five for Families is a statewide public awareness campaign that the Prevention Board developed as a universal prevention strategy. The primary goal of this campaign is to increase knowledge of the Protective Factors Framework.

Family Resource Centers (FRCs) are community-based, flexible, family-focused, and culturally sensitive hubs that provide access to resources, programs, and targeted services based on the needs and interests of families. The FRCs across Wisconsin provide parents and caregivers with parent education, tools, and strategies around healthy child development, and they can also provide invaluable information and navigation for community resources. The PDG funds will help FRCs provide effective, quality child maltreatment primary prevention services to families of children birth to five years and promote their well‐being.

The Prevention Board received PDG funding from DCF to develop and implement a state-level Family Resource Center (FRC) network. This FRC network allowed the Prevention Board to achieve long standing goals, including creating the FRC of Quality Accreditation process that included implementing a dedicated FRC professional development system. The goal of the FRC network and FRC of Quality Accreditation process is to have a more coordinated network of services, increase opportunities for FRCs to communicate across data systems and, better equip FRCs to help families navigate the complex system of resources and services available to address their children’s needs.

Ten FRCs were awarded grants to participate in the newly developed FRC of Quality accreditation process. This included the following trainings training in:

  • Standards of Quality for Family Strengthening and Support (12 hours)
  • Parent Leadership (10 hours)
  • Bringing the Protective Factors Framework to Life in Your Work (12 hours)
  • Awareness to Action (4 hours)

In addition to training time, each FRC dedicated staff time to participate in bimonthly communities of practice (COPs). During this time, they were able to apply their training and carry out changes in their agency. Funds were also used to support dedicated staff time to develop and recruit a parent advisory council (or similar group). This helped bring the parent voice into the FRC structure.

During the grants, the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute (UWPHI) collected information from the participating FRCs to better understand the impacts of the accreditation process. Through surveys and interviews, grantees reported improvements in their knowledge and confidence ratings in applying the quality standards and Protective Factors Framework within their work. The FRCs found the COPs to be a safe place to work together and share the work they are doing. The grant activities also helped FRCs further their commitment to excellence. FRC staff shared the following:

I think one of the biggest impacts was our collaboration with other [local community based] agencies. [Our network with] other partners has gotten to be a lot more extensive, and I think that's because they see that we're trying and that we're working on this and that we're being more inclusive.

We have talked for years about having a parent advisory council to get parent voice. I think what I really appreciate is that the training that we got to do that, the conversations were all in the community of practice. The idea of quality program is the formalized process. We have quite a formalized process. We spent six months forming it. We did outreach twice to really invite parents to participate if they want to.

I would also say being in that cohort with nine other family resource centers was very helpful because I learned things from them that we could implement in our programming and I know that we shared ideas that others have taken and been able to use, too. And so, we're doing that collaboratively together with statewide partners was a really good opportunity.

The FRC of Quality Accreditation is now available to interested community agencies. FRCs from the first cohort of grantees have signed up and a second cohort of grantees is on their way. This second cohort also benefits from improved processes thanks to recommendations from UWPHI and the first 10 FRCs.

To learn more about Family Resource Centers or find one in your area, see the FRC map. 

PDG funds were used to:

  • Develop infrastructure and networking support to FRCs
  • Build standards and an accreditation process for FRCs
  • Expand Family Strengthening Continuum Training and Technical Assistance for FRC staff

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