Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock () or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

April 2024Vol. 25, No. 3FRIENDS' Prevention Mindset Institute

The Prevention Mindset Institute (PMI) is an initiative of the FRIENDS National Center for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention (FRIENDS). This initiative seeks to transition the current system from one that predominantly intervenes after incidents of child abuse occur to one that prioritizes primary prevention and early intervention.

PMI is dedicated to identifying and promoting promising strategies for preventing child abuse before it happens. By focusing on primary prevention, the institute aims to reduce the incidence of child abuse through proactive measures rather than reactive responses.

PMI works in two cohorts of states to identify strategies for reorienting the child welfare system toward primary prevention and early intervention. The current cohort consists of six states: Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Oregon, and Washington. This paradigm shift would involve engaging families proactively to prevent adverse incidents before they occur.

Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention State Lead Agencies participating in PMI partner with parents with lived experience in kinship or foster care, families of origin with lived experience navigating the child welfare system, and other national organizations to create equitable and prevention-focused environments that support child and family well-being.

Part of PMI's outreach and educational efforts include its podcast series, which serves as a platform for discussing innovative strategies and sharing knowledge on prevention-focused practices. The series offers child welfare professionals insights on the importance of shifting toward a prevention-focused mindset regarding child maltreatment. For example, episode 3 of the podcast (released in January 2024) focuses on Kentucky's prevention mindset shift and explores the state's recent revision of the neglect statute to establish that poverty is not child neglect. 

To learn more about PMI and access the latest podcast episodes, visit the PMI webpage on the FRIENDS website. This initiative represents a critical step forward in the effort to safeguard children by addressing potential issues before they escalate, marking a significant evolution in the approach to child welfare and protection.