Friends, family members, neighbors and other members of a community who provide emotional support and concrete assistance are invaluable to parents. Since social isolation is strongly connected to child maltreatment, this protective factor ensures that parents are connected to people who support their parenting. Being new to a community, recently divorced or a first-time parent makes a support network even more important; it may require extra effort from programs to help families build the new relationships they need.
When asked, parents have described this protective factor as:
- I have people who know me – friends – and at least one person who supports my parenting.
- Social connections = community.
- Parents need friends.
Social Connections, a research brief from the Center for the Study of Social Policy.
Information adapted from the Center for the Study of Social Policy and the National Alliance of Children’s Trust and Prevention Funds.