STRONG COMMUNITIES is a comprehensive effort to prevent child maltreatment by building systems of support for families of young children. Our vision is for every child and every parent to be confident that someone will notice and someone will care whenever they have cause for joy, sorrow, or worry. STRONG COMMUNITIES rests, therefore, on a collective commitment to enhance a sense of community in which individuals (in the lingo of international human rights, personalities), whatever their age, are given due respect as persons and thereby are guaranteed personal security. In effect, the initiative is designed to give new strength to the application of the Golden Rule in participating communities as they care for their youngest members.
Thus, STRONG COMMUNITIES is grounded in traditional values. Our work reflects the importance of caring friends, relatives, and co-workers in the lives of people regardless of their social background. Fundamentally, STRONG COMMUNITIES is about relationships—protection and promotion of the family and community relationships that form the basis of our personal identities (even our names) and that ordinarily shelter and nurture us.
At the same time, we recognize that far too many children lack adequate care and attention and that some are subjected to egregious physical or sexual assaults. Moreover, we embrace the community's collective responsibility to ensure the safety of dependent children – a responsibility that typically is most effectively fulfilled by provision of sufficient social and material support to parents to enable them to care for children with confidence in neighborhoods where families feel a sense of community. No child should go to bed hungry for either food or love, and no child should grow up in fear. No parent should feel alone or impotent in attempting to provide the goods, both tangible and intangible, that are necessary to a child's security, both physical and psychological.
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