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Explore how the same skills public health professionals use in their everyday work can help public health initiatives successfully connect with local businesses.

Roles for Business

Remember, assistance from businesses can take many forms. Their efforts can address different aspects of your community's child abuse and prevention initiative, such as:

Building community commitment for safe, stable, and nurturing relationships and environments

Providing resources for parents and community members

Creating family-friendly work policies and other approaches that strengthen economic supports to families

Committing to healthy and productive workforces…now and into the future.

Raise Awareness

Importance

Awareness that child abuse and neglect are problems and that these problems can be prevented by providing safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments is critical to improving a community’s health and prosperity. Providing experiences in early care, education, and family settings that support parents and provide sturdy foundations for children's development can greatly reduce child abuse and neglect. Businesses can share this message with their employees and community by promoting attention to preventative efforts, such as success in school, reductions in other forms of violence, and other healthy community conditions. Building and supporting safe, healthy environments not only benefits the community members themselves but also the businesses that operate within those communities.


Examples

Utility

An electric utility company partners with local agencies to bring child development experts to the workplace to talk about issues parents might face during different developmental stages. They offer information and provide techniques for effective parenting.

Technology

A software company offers classes to employees on topics such as infant and toddler sleep problems, kindergarten preparedness, and behavior management for all age groups.

Nonprofit

A nonprofit organization works with businesses to build awareness among their employees and stakeholders about the role parents and primary caregivers can play as a child's first and most important teacher. "Our goal is for a business to get involved with us in building awareness to show how 15 minutes of daily reading aloud, starting at birth, builds brain capacity and social-emotional skills that last a lifetime."

Raise Awareness

Time Commitment

Low

Ideal For:

  • Companies "testing the waters" with regards to joining a public health initiative
  • Companies that have little time to dedicate but would like to do something meaningful with their available time

What it could involve:

  • Distributing informational materials about the initiative
  • Sharing support and prevention resources with staff
  • Connecting staff with the initiative
  • Promoting events and activities
  • Sharing messages via social media
  • Being a spokesperson for prevention at functions, in media, in groups you are active in, and with decision makers

Donate

Importance

Your team needs resources to get its work done. It is the mechanism that often allows ideas about creating safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments for all children to be put into action. Corporate donations can take many forms, from financial contributions to in-kind donations of services and manpower. Some companies may value the visibility their financial and staff contributions make.


Examples

Retail

A national retailer sponsors local National Night Out events in which it donates dollars and supplies to support more than 15,000 local celebrations nationwide. These gatherings, which range from neighborhood block parties to picnics and street dances, help neighbors get to know one another and their public safety officers.

Advertising

A local ad agency takes over for the staff of a large city's Children's Shelter one day each month and looks after the shelter's resident children so that the staff can hold its monthly meetings. The local ad agency's dedication to the Children's Center extends beyond this monthly commitment to include other projects like decorating classrooms and providing creative projects for the children.

Franchise

A pizza franchise in Iowa hosts "community impact" nights in which friends and family members bus tables to support a local cause, such as raising money for a class trip. The franchise donates the night's tips and 5-20 percent of the profits to the cause. The business benefits because it fills the restaurant on a typically slow night and builds stronger relationships within the community.

Donate

Time Commitment

Low

Ideal For:

  • Companies that want to invest financially in important causes
  • Companies that may not have funds to donate but do have plenty of in-kind support
  • Companies that want to create opportunities for their staff to support community activities
  • Companies that want to be associated with positive causes in the community

What it could involve:

  • Donating funds
  • Donating items and services
  • Donating resources or space
  • Enabling staff to participate in events
  • Sponsoring events

Volunteer

Importance

Initiatives need volunteers to achieve their goals. Businesses can encourage employees to give back to the community and volunteer their time. It is only with the help of volunteers that many of the community events and activities are possible. Pairing up with businesses that will support volunteerism is a logical win-win for the initiative as well as the business.


Examples

Technology

An IT company provides employees four hours of volunteer time each month. For instance, employees in Minneapolis volunteer weekly with Catholic Charities Opportunity Center to support the operation of a soup kitchen.

Finance

Employees at a financial services company can draw up to 16 hours of pay per year for activities such as serving breakfast to the homeless or reading to kids.

Design Software

A design software company considers giving back to its community of utmost importance. The company lets full-time employees spend up to 48 hours per year volunteering in schools and with nonprofit organizations.

Software

A software company encourages its employees to take as much as 56 total paid hours (seven days) for volunteering each year. To those who complete all seven days of volunteering within a year, the software company awards a $1,000 grant that they can donate to a nonprofit of their choice.

Donate

Time Commitment

Low to Moderate

Ideal For:

  • Companies that wish to engage their staff in the work of the initiative
  • Companies that prefer to be more hands on
  • Companies that want to create opportunities for their staff to support community activities
  • Companies that want to be associated with positive causes in the community

What it could involve:

  • Encouraging employees to volunteer during personal hours
  • Volunteering services that are company specialties in (e.g. a painting company offering to paint a room)
  • Organizing group volunteering as a team building exercise
  • Offering paid volunteer time or allowing employees to take time off to volunteer

Become a Part of the Initiative

Importance

An initiative draws strength from its diverse members. Businesses can provide a valuable voice at the table, as they may be active in the community, have experience in strategic planning, and know how to move from goals to concrete action and achievements.


Examples

Coalition

A national coalition of 29 U.S.-based companies is dedicated to hiring at least 100,000 youth between the ages of 16 and 24 who face systemic barriers to jobs and education by 2018. Through apprenticeships, internships, training programs, and both part-time and full-time jobs, the coalition is working with other community-based organizations and leaders to deliver the local skills training and hiring opportunities young people need.

Healthcare

A consumer healthcare company signed on to be the Official Healthcare Partner of the United Service Organizations and will provide a combination of in-kind donations to the soldiers and their families, including new and soon-to-be military moms who may be far away from friends and family. They will also support programming for the caregivers who play an integral role in ensuring the health and well-being of servicemen and -women and their families.

initiative

Time Commitment

Moderate

Ideal For:

  • Companies that want to be partners "at the table" for community decisions
  • Companies that want to have a voice in the direction and goals of the prevention efforts
  • Companies that want to actively contribute to strengthening the community

What it could involve:

  • Attending regular meetings
  • Collaborating with stakeholders
  • Providing strategy and vision
  • Allowing staff to serve on boards of directors or advisory boards
  • Participating in the planning and execution of events and activities

Join a Committee

Importance

Committees are often referred to as "the lifeblood" of any initiative. It is within these smaller teams that important work is done to further the cause and prepare its members for important decisions and discussions.


Examples

Television

A children's television network has partnered with an advisory committee of dedicated educators and children's advocates to create, distribute, and promote a kindergarten readiness initiative. This initiative is designed to help parents and caregivers prepare their preschoolers for academic success by supporting family engagement, health and wellness, early literacy, social and emotional development, and fundamental STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) skills.

Committee

Time Commitment

Moderate to High

Ideal For:

  • Companies that want to make long-lasting partnerships with other community members and organizations
  • Companies that want to be "at the table" for important community decisions and discussions
  • Companies that have time to invest in regular community meetings or activities

What it could involve:

  • Attending regular meetings
  • Working outside the initiative meetings
  • Working in the community
  • Providing leadership on issues and events

Create a Family Friendly Workplace

Importance

Businesses have a unique opportunity to help prevent child abuse and neglect by providing a work environment that helps parents improve the balance between work and family while ensuring economic security. Companies that commit to family-friendly workplaces are actively putting prevention into practice.


Examples

Storage

A moving and storage company offers telework, a flexible work week, and job sharing to many of its more than 200 employees. The company has experienced markedly reduced turnover and gross profit increases above the industry average as a result of its workplace policies.

Healthcare System

A healthcare system realizes that its vision to deliver world class healthcare depends on a foundation of highly engaged team members. To support the staff, this company provides 36 weeks of job-protected leave, three weeks of paid parental leave, on-site childcare centers, adoption assistance, infertility assistance, backup childcare for all family members, its Building Families Program, and sponsored family fun night events.

Home Improvement

A home improvement store offers on-site childcare with a school-age program, backup dependent care, free membership in Sittercity with unlimited free background checks, tuition discounts, preferred enrollment at particular childcare centers nationwide, and college coaching sessions.

Consumer Healthcare

A consumer healthcare company supports families by providing 17 weeks paid time off to new moms and nine weeks to new dads. This does not all have to be taken at one time, so parents can ease back in to a full-time work schedule.

Balance Family

Time Commitment

Moderate to High

Ideal For:

  • Companies that want highly engaged team members
  • Companies that want to reduce turnover and improve retention rates
  • Companies that work in fields that could support alternative or flexible work schedules

What it could involve:

  • Providing consistent work schedules
  • Providing flexible work schedules
  • Increasing employee access to childcare and health services
  • Providing livable wages (minimum income necessary for workers to meet their basic needs)
  • Providing paid leave, such as to care for a sick child

Become a Champion

Importance

Champions are instrumental for creating safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments for all children. They can open doors and provide a platform to reach many audiences through a variety of channels.


Examples

National Initiative

A national initiative leverages over 1,000 business members to educate policymakers and the public about effective policies and programs that improve business competitiveness by helping children get a good start early in life. In 2015, the business champions helped to secure new and increased investments in early education and home-visiting initiatives in multiple states, including:

  • CA - $300 million in early education, $24 million in Quality Rating and Improvement
  • MI - $57.1 million in early literacy and childcare
  • NY - $42 million in early education, Quality Rating and Improvement Systems, Nurse Family Partnership home visiting, childcare
  • OH - $113 million in early education, $65 million increase in home-visiting
  • OR - $107.2 million increase in home-visiting, employment-related day care, pre-K and innovation
  • WA – Early Start Act, $159 million for early education, home-visiting, and childcare rate increase

Nonprofit

A nonprofit made up of business leaders from around Colorado is committed to increasing investment in early childhood. They are educating their colleagues in the business sector on the importance of early childhood development and programs that support early childhood education, wellness, and care for children from birth to age 8. They are identifying approaches businesses can use to increase the level of child and family support. They are engaging other business leaders to be early childhood advocates and champions of the economic and societal benefits of investing in very young children and to make the investment in very young children the highest priority of all levels of government.

Finance

A financial services company's Grow Up Great® initiative promotes early childhood education with actions ranging from grants to local programs, awareness campaigns, advocacy, and employee volunteers in early learning centers. The financial company's employees have volunteered more than 575,000 hours and donated more than 825,000 classroom items to help make quality early education available to every child. The financial company's awareness campaign communicates the importance of school readiness and provides helpful tips, fun activities, and other educational resources to parents and teachers.

Become a Champion

Time Commitment

High

Ideal For:

  • Companies that see child abuse and neglect prevention fundamentally aligned with their company's values and goals
  • Companies that have strong partnerships/networking opportunities with other businesses, organizations, and individuals committed to supporting safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments for all children
  • Companies who want to share the commitment of preventing child abuse and neglect with others

What it could involve:

  • Endorsing child abuse and neglect prevention messaging
  • Creating original (and branded) programming and materials
  • Using media and public appearances to raise awareness about prevention of child abuse and neglect and the importance of safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments for children, families, communities, and a strong workforce and economy
  • Recruiting other businesses, organizations, and individuals to support the initiative
  • Reflecting the company's commitment to safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments for all children in corporate documents and practices