There are steps each of us can take now to help struggling families. Maybe you are in the grocery store and see an adult who is upset with children who are acting out. Offer understanding words to the parents and friendly conversation to the kids. Find something positive to say about the children or parents. Avoid negative looks or comments that may increase adults’ anger and make things worse.
Sometimes there are immediate threats to a child’s safety. There are times when it is helpful to stay near children who are unattended until their caregiver returns. And if you suspect a child is in danger, report the situation to county social services or law enforcement officials.
These are simple tasks we can all practice, yet they are important first steps in prevention. I encourage you to reach out in your neighborhoods and communities to keep our kids safe.
By Minnesota Department of Human Services Commissioner Emily Piper