Protecting Children and Youth: Issue #1
The authors of this 12-page Action Kit state that there is no challenge facing cities and towns more urgent than protecting children and youth. Ensuring children's safety at home, keeping them out of harm's way on the streets and at school, and shielding young people from influences that can draw them into acts of crime and violence are essential steps to the well-being of America's communities. In this Action Kit, the authors provide ideas and suggestions for what mayors, city council members, and other municipal leaders can do to keep children and youth safe. The action steps in this Action Kit reflect three important lessons that municipal leaders can apply in their communities to protect children and youth. First, families are at the center of effective prevention. Whether the challenge is to prevent child abuse or reduce violence and delinquency by youth, families can and must play a central role. Second, the research suggests that some popular programs are not effective. Municipal leaders must be careful to focus on what works. Finally, strong partnerships with state and county agencies, as well as nonprofit organizations and community groups, are essential to achieve lasting progress. Mayors and city council members are uniquely positioned to put children's safety on the public agenda. They can convene community groups, facilitate partnerships between city agencies and other stakeholders, finance promising initiatives, advocate for needed resources, and hold key actors accountable for results. With the active involvement of municipal leaders, the authors conclude, there is much that can be accomplished for our communities and young people. The Action Kit includes descriptions of and contact information for numerous federal resources. Modified Author Abstract.