The most important thing to keep in mind when choosing the best child abuse program is that there is no one-size-fits-all program. Make sure the program you choose meets your specific needs. The first step is to determine what those specific needs are and then to ask for referrals from friends, family, or a doctor. Once you have a few options narrowed down, do some online research and call the facility to get a better feel for what it has to offer.
The first step in choosing the best child abuse program is figuring out what you want to get out of it. The two basic categories of child abuse programs are child abuse prevention and programs that help families who have already experienced child abuse. If you are a parent struggling with managing anger and frustration, a child abuse prevention program is the best fit. If you are the parent or guardian of a child who has experienced abuse, a child abuse center can be of great help.
Talking about child abuse can be a very difficult thing to do, especially for victims and parents struggling with their emotions. If there are any close friends or family around you whom you feel comfortable talking to about this subject, try asking if they or anyone they know has any experience with child abuse programs. Another great place to ask for a referral is the family doctor. Getting a referral from someone you trust can take a lot of the stress out of finding a good service.
This next step is a bit of an extension of figuring out what you want to get out of the program. Write down any questions you have about the service along with all of the specific issues you want addressed by it. If you are looking into a child abuse prevention program, make a note of recent conflicts you've had with your child. If there are certain triggers you can identify that cause conflicts with your child to get out of control, it is a good idea to make sure the program you choose will address your concerns. If the child has already been abused, make a note of the specific nature of the incident or incidents.
There are a couple of general guidelines to look for in a child abuse program. They should, at the bare minimum, include education and counseling. Education will give parents tools to better understand their roles and reasonable age-appropriate expectations of their children. Counseling will help give parents or guardians better tools to communicate with their children. Programs for victims of child abuse should include protection from the abuser, a medical examination, and legal education, with the comfort and support of the victim being their highest priority.
Once you have a good understanding of what it is you want in a child abuse program, do some online research and call the facilities with any questions or clarifications. Many websites are available that offer client reviews of child abuse programs that you can reference. You should be able to narrow down the choices with this information and find the best program for you and your family.