Child Abuse Prevention

More than five U.S. children die as a result of child abuse every day. According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, 70 Arizona children died because of maltreatment in 2010 – over half of them were under one year old.

Phoenix Children's is committed to reducing the risk of abuse for children in our community. To keep children safe, we have to fix the problem instead of only treating the symptom.  As a leader in the community, Phoenix Children's Hospital brings the latest research and cutting edge prevention programs to Phoenix and reaches out to the entire state of Arizona.

Learn more about our programs below:

The Shaken Baby Prevention Project

Reaching 20,000 parents each year, the Shaken Baby Prevention Project provides new and expectant parents, the general public and healthcare providers with information about the dangers of shaking babies, including tips for calming a crying baby (most shaking incidents are precipitated by inconsolable crying) and ways to cope with parental stress. Information is distributed to parents through birthing hospitals, community physicians, childbirth educators, and community organizations serving children and families.

Additional Resources

Who do you trust with your child?

Tragically, each year many children are abused and die at the hands of unsafe caregivers. Of course, most caregivers give loving attention to children and keep them safe. But sometimes we don’t plan ahead or think it through. Sometimes we are in a rush and trust someone we should not.

Unsafe caregivers could be your boyfriend or girlfriend. They may be a relative or a neighbor. Children are more likely to be abused or neglected by someone they know than from a stranger. Download and review these resources to help build awareness and for simple warning signs and tips before deciding on a caregiver for your child. Think before you trust. A little planning could save a precious child.

Who do you trust brochure - English version (PDF)

Who do you trust brochure - Spanish version (PDF)

Who do you trust flyers/posters - English version (PDF)

Who do you trust flyers/posters - Spanish version (PDF)

Who do you trust letter to community - English version (PDF)

Who do you trust letter to community - Spanish version (PDF)

Project SAFE

Witnessing an adult talking to or treating a child harshly can create an awkward and frustrating situation for other adults. Onlookers may want to intervene, but aren't always sure how to do so safely and effectively. Project SAFE (Supporting a Family Friendly Environment) is a child abuse prevention training program that teaches individuals – from healthcare professionals to retail workers – how to effectively model appropriate behavior and intervene in potentially abusive situations. More than 800 individuals have completed SAFE training, while another 120,000 educational pamphlets have been distributed to various organizations throughout the community.

Darkness to Light's Steward's of Children 

One in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday. Fewer than one in 10 will ever tell. Stewards of Arizona's Children is an innovative child sexual abuse prevention training program that teaches adults how to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse. Designed for organizations and corporations that serve children and youth, and for individuals who have direct responsibility for the protection of their own or others children, this three-hour training program provides tools to create policies and procedures that help keep children safe, and for training staff and volunteers on child protection.

Since its inception, nearly 1000 individuals have participated in the program.  The program also trained 43 facilitators, allowing them to implement training in their local communities.  For more information on bringing this training to your organization contact: 

For more information on prevention of child sexual abuse:  

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Consortium 

The ACE Study Consortium brings together a diverse group of community leaders all working to improve prevention, identification and treatment to ensure better outcomes for people whose lives start out in the most challenging ways. Scientific research clearly shows the link between adverse experiences in childhood (abuse, neglect, household violence and dysfunction) and risky behaviors and health problems in adulthood.  This connection makes it imperative that pediatric care providers recognize this important link and begin developing strategies to protect children from the harmful effects of adverse childhood experience. The ACE Consortium's " Strong Communities Raise Strong Kids" initiative seeks to inspire communities around Arizona to come together in supporting young children and families. For more information on joining the ACE Consortium or Strong Communities raise Strong Kids presentations contact:

Learn more about the ACE study and Arizona  (PDF) and see how the state compares to the nation (PDF).

Report on Physical Punishment: What research tells us about its effects on children

Phoenix Children's Hospital has been selected as the "institutional home" for a new report synthesizing one hundred years of social science research on the effects physical punishment has on children. The report is nationally and internationally recognized as providing concise and accurate summary of over 100 studies that support the conclusion that physical punishment of children is an ineffective parenting practice.  Phoenix Children's is working to publicize this important information as well as provide education on more effective alternatives to its use. The report has been endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association,  the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and many others. It is being widely used for educational purposes by parents, professional organizations serving children and families, and the general public.

Effective Discipline for Children

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

April is a time to raise awareness about child abuse and neglect and encourage individuals and communities to support children and families. No one can do everything. No one parent, grandparent, teacher, neighbor or elected official, agency or individual. But everyone can do something. Phoenix Children's had become a leader in the ongoing fight against child abuse placing focus on prevention. Throughout the month of April, the Hospital hosts a series of events including the annual Children's March on Child Abuse.

Children's March on Child Abuse

Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect

Parent-Provider Partnership in Child Care (PCAN) Research has shown early childhood programs can serve as an effective "early warning system" to detect risky situations that could lead to infant or child abuse. And with approximately 50 percent of infants, 69 percent of 3 year olds, and 84% of 5 year olds in some form of child care while their parent(s) work, it's essential child care providers know how to read those early warning signs. PCAN trains child care professionals to use their every day relationships with parents - as well as current research and information - to support and strengthen families in the effort to prevent child abuse.

Contact us:

(602) 933-0960

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