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To Serve and Protect

As part of the 15th anniversary of the passage of Proposition 10, which provided funding to create First 5s throughout California, the Monday Morning Report will regularly highlight First 5 LA's major milestones, accomplishments and accolades during the last 15 years.

Keeping children safe from abuse and neglect has been a priority for First 5 LA during its 15-year history. Across a person's lifespan, child abuse and neglect is linked to an increased risk of substance abuse, obesity, depression, suicide and - in some instances - deviant or criminal behavior.

First 5 LA believes that parenting support and child safety are two important investment areas to prevent childhood abuse and neglect. In 2012-2013 alone, First 5 LA invested $35.8 million in those two areas. Highlights of parenting support and child safety investments by First 5 LA during the past 15 years include:

  • Stabilizing families at high risk of child abuse through prevention and early intervention as part of Partnerships for Families, which addresses gaps in the current child welfare system.
  • Supporting a countywide public education campaign to get the word out about California's law providing protection from prosecution for parents who safely surrender their baby to hospitals or fire stations.
  • Participating in a public education campaign with the Los Angeles County Inter-Agency Council on Child Abuse and Neglect to help save families from the preventable loss of their infants due to unsafe sleeping practices.
  • Reducing the risk of abuse in families with young children with serious disruptive behavior disorders by funding Parent-Child Interactive Therapy, an evidence-based behavioral family intervention model.
  • Providing dozens of peer support groups for parents to foster social connections, reduce isolation and provide for a positive mental outlook for parents over the long term.
  • Increasing the access to substance abuse services for high-risk parents and caregivers, a countywide project that integrates child protective services with substance abuse treatment and mental health supports for parents in crisis.
  • Improving the health, developmental and safety outcomes for newborns in low-income communities receiving WIC services in L.A. County through One Step Ahead, which provides families with literacy and safety resources that they may not otherwise afford.

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