The Prevention Board is directed by Wis. Stats. §48.982 (2) to recommend to the Governor, the Legislature and state agencies changes needed to state programs, statutes, policies, budgets and administrative rules to reduce child abuse and neglect and improve coordination among state agencies providing prevention services. To fulfill its statutory requirements, the agency dedicates resources to supporting evidence-informed child abuse primary prevention and family strengthening programs, policies, research and initiatives. Strategic policy priority setting and resource allocations are made to advance promising approaches from research to practice.
Family Strengthening Continuum
: The Prevention Board provides support for components of the comprehensive Family Strengthening Continuum which is comprised of evidence-informed primary prevention services designed for integration and implementation with secondary and tertiary services in local communities to prevent child maltreatment.
- Child Neglect: This effort, initiated by the Prevention Board, is aimed at advancing research and practice on innovative prevention and early intervention strategies to prevent and reduce child neglect.
- Professional Development: The agency and its partners published the revised, Wisconsin Core Competencies for Family Support Professionals, uniform standards which guide practice for family support professionals in their work. An agency collaboration funded through the Healthier Wisconsin Partnership Program supported development of the Protective Factors Framework hands-on learning modules which inform and enhance the practice of family support professionals, Parent Co-Presenters and educators. The Prevention Board also joined forces with the Department of Children and Families to support and revise the Abusive Head Trauma Prevention education curriculum used by childcare professionals across the state.
- Father Engagement: A collaboration is underway with the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Social Work to deliver learning modules that promote strategies focused on engaging fathers in family strengthening efforts.
- Wisconsin Legislative Children’s Caucus: Administrative support is provided for the caucus, a bipartisan, bicameral caucus co-chaired by Representative Joan Ballweg, Representative Jill Billings, Senator Alberta Darling and Senator LaTonya Johnson. The caucus aims to cultivate a legislature dedicated to advancing promising, evidence-informed public policy to improve the life of every Wisconsin child, from prenatal stages through age 18.
- Community Response Program: The voluntary program, supported by the Prevention Board, provided assistance to families reported to child protective services for alleged child maltreatment but who were not receiving services because the referral was screened out or the case was closed before the family entered the formal system. A randomized control trial found future substantiated reports and out of home placements declined in the treatment group.
- Project GAIN: Through a partnership with University of Wisconsin-Madison, the agency supported a rigorous evaluation which was designed to answer the question: “How much maltreatment prevention can be achieved by intervening with at-risk families around economic stressors?” The project worked with families in Milwaukee County to access economic resources, reduce financial stressors and increase income stability. A randomized control trial was conducted between 2011 and 2016 including nearly 5,000 families. Evaluation findings are expected in 2021.
- Family Connects: The Prevention Board supports an ongoing program evaluation of this voluntary nurse home visiting program which has been offered universally for parents of newborns in Racine County since 2017, regardless of income or demographics. An impact study initiated in 2019 includes all women giving birth at Racine’s Ascension All-Saints hospital during an 18-month period.
- Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs): ACEs are negative occurrences in childhood, such as abuse, neglect and household dysfunction, that are linked to compromised health and well-being in adulthood. In partnership with Children's Wisconsin, the Prevention Board collected ACE data between 2011 and 2015 using the Wisconsin Behavioral Risk Factor Survey. The report, Adverse Childhood Experiences in Wisconsin: 2011 – 2015 Behavioral Risk Factor Survey Findings, focused on cumulative results of data analysis confirming the negative impact of ACEs on a wide spectrum of social, mental and physical health outcomes among adults across all ages and social strata.