Take Action Conversation Guide
Use Building Community, Building Hope to start a conversation about what’s working to improve child well-being in our country.
Show the film, Building Community, Building Hope:
- To your organization’s Board of Directors, staff, and volunteers. Have an open dialog about how what you are doing lines up with the kind of good ideas shown in the film.
- To your community or national partners. Talk about how your collaboration can keep building on what's working to increase your impact.
- To families. Create an opportunity to hear how their experiences reflect or differ from what the film portrays, and what gives them hope for a better future.
- At your Conference or in your community. Open a conversation about what collectively you are all doing well, and what you can do together to keep improving on behalf of and with the families who are struggling?
- To funders. Draw the parallels between the challenges and successes the film portrays and what you are doing. Find out what resonates for them in order to better position your agency or collaboration for future funding requests.
- To policy makers. Provide them with a look at the human side of child maltreatment, and follow up with data on how what you are doing makes a difference. How this film came to be made—and where we hope to go from here.
Key messages the film delivers:
- Child maltreatment is preventable. We need to not only react to crises but also intervene with positive supports long before situations escalate. There are good examples around the country where agencies are moving research into practice and forging partnerships that work to prevent child maltreatment.
- Blaming parents doesn’t work; supporting them does. With the right supports, parents and caregivers can succeed at changing their behavior and nurturing their children. We are starting to work on what’s right in families, and what they have to build on, rather than coming in and telling them what’s wrong.
- Community context matters. Families don’t exist in a bubble—they are affected by community factors around them. Housing, healthcare, jobs—all these societal factors really matter in understanding the types of stresses that families encounter. Strategies that address community conditions are essential.
- We must work across the boundaries that separate us. Cross-agency and cross-discipline collaboration works. Partnerships—including authentically partnering with parents—are key to tapping the assets that exist in every community and system that can make the difference for families that are struggling.
- We have a ways to go, but we’re on the right track. The research is clear and examples abound about what’s working to protect children and promote their well-being, but... We need to shift our focus: for every federal dollar spent on prevention, over seven dollars is spent on treating the consequences. And the issue of neglect needs more attention, but is rarely discussed.