A report done by the National Center for Children in Poverty showed the factors that increase the risk of infant maltreatment. These factors are:
- smoking during pregnancy
- infant having two or more siblings
- Medicaid enrollee
- infant low-birth weight
- less than high school education
- teen mother
- short spacing (under 15 months) between pregnancy
- poor pre-natal care
- adverse outcomes in prior pregnancy
Most of these factors are situations that occur BEFORE the child is born and even before pregnancy.
“Children younger than three years of age are the most likely of all children to become involved with Child Welfare Services, and they have the highest rate of victimization and maltreatment among all age groups.”
A child’s “mental health” refers to emotional well-being and positive social development from birth through age 5. Services for at-risk households are crucial to prevent these young children from being neglected and abused. Promoting early childhood “mental health” through in-home visitation and parenting programs is a key element in preventing abuse and neglect.
This report was mainly done to research the possibilities of taking care of these children after they enter Child Welfare Services. However, there are organizations out there that provide support for families, mothers, and siblings of newborns. Having the knowledge of where to find support services and resources is crucial to decreasing stress, breaking family history cycles, and increasing preventative measures to further reduce the risk of abuse and neglect.
Better Indy Babies and Healthy Families America are two resources provided by HealthNet throughout the Indianapolis community. The staff here provide knowledge and support to families and parents who are pregnant or have children from age birth to 3. You can help these two resources be of greater service to families in need. Learn more about what tools are out there or donate directly by clicking here.
Shop at Once Upon a Child? Want to help the Better Indy Babies program? Click on our ONCE UPON A HEALTHY BABY tab to learn about our event on Saturday, January 28th!