Over the past 20 years our understanding of the complex problems of child abuse and neglect has increased dramatically. This increased knowledge has improved our ability to intervene effectively in the lives of troubled families. Likewise, we have a better grasp of what we can do to prevent child abuse and neglect from occurring. Clearly, we have made great strides. However, our efforts to prevent and treat child abuse and neglect must continue to grow and improve.
We have learned that a child of any age, sex, race, religion, and socioeconomic background can fall victim to child abuse and neglect. We have learned that a large number of children who are abused and neglected are never reported to the authorities who can help them and their families. We have learned that we need to provide help and support to victims of child abuse and neglect as well as to their parents. And most important, we have learned that child abuse and neglect is a community concern. No one agency or professional alone can prevent and treat the problem; rather all concerned citizens must work together to effectively identify, prevent, and treat child abuse and neglect