The mission of the San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center is to prevent child abuse and reduce its devastating impact.

We are Committed to Serving Children and Families.

Empowering Children

Every child should be cherished, nurtured, taught the skills and given the opportunity to grow up in a safe and healthy environment in which basic needs are met and reaching full potential is achievable.

Supporting Families

Parenting is hard and all families can use support. Families need a place to be safe. Support needs to be family-focused and appropriately measured to meet the identified needs of the parents/caregivers and their children.

Fostering Hope

We foster and invest in hope to build a better future for everyone. We believe everyone has the potential to learn, grow and change. Through advocacy and striving for equality, we can create change in the world.

We Strive for Excellence and to Create a Place of Learning.

  • Striving for Excellence: Continually on the path of self improvement, we strive to serve better in all areas. We strive to be the beacon in the community advancing our mission of preventing child abuse and neglect.
  • Serving with Integrity and the Highest Ethical Standards: We promote and adhere to the highest professional and ethical standards.
  • Holding Ourselves Accountable: Families should be able to hold us accountable for the services we deliver, as do we. We must ensure measurable, timely and effective results that are appropriate and family-focused.
  • Creating a Place for Learning: We strive to create an environment which celebrates all stages of learning and in which staff, interns, volunteers, families and community members continually grow and learn.
  • Working with Humor: We serve others with humor and hold space for joy and laughter together with the families we serve.

We Embrace Differences.

  • Accepting Everyone: We meet families where they are, with acceptance, dignity, compassion and without judgment. We serve all families in San Francisco regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, economic status or neighborhood in which they live.
  • Creating Inclusiveness: Listening, understanding, accepting and respecting one another is paramount in conducting our work with the families we serve and with our colleagues.
  • Providing Culturally Competent Services: We value diversity and difference as sources of strength. We offer services with cultural sensitivity and competency, endeavoring to meet the diverse cultural and linguistic needs of our clients.
  • Promoting Diversity: We believe in recruiting and retaining a diverse board, staff and volunteer network to best serve our clientele. We value the different roles, styles, and goals and the experience, expertise and background of each stakeholder.

We Work in Collaboration.

  • Building Teams: Through support, trust and collaboration, we work more effectively when we work with each other in our shared mission to protect children and support families. We strive to create effective working teams between all staff, interns, volunteers, board members and community partners.
  • Working in Partnership: Everyone in the community has a role to play to prevent child abuse and promote healthy families. Community partnership, based on shared responsibilities, is the most effective way to protect children.

Our Parenting Philosophy

Parenting can be hard. Some parents feel relieved to know that:

  • Because parenting is a learned skill, it is a task that involves on-the-job training.
  • Being isolated from extended family and community can make parenting even harder.
  • Lack of available internal and external resources and financial difficulties can greatly impact parenting.
  • Every parent makes mistakes.
  • When parents feel that their children are a reflection of themselves, they may have feelings of shame and blame about their children’s difficult behavior.
  • Being a parent doesn’t always feel good.
  • Parents may have hateful feelings as well as loving feelings toward their children.
  • A child may remind a parent of someone; the parent may feel toward the child as he/she feels toward the other person.
  • Children are born with an innate temperament that may or may not fit the parent’s temperament and expectations.
  • Parenting is affected by our experience of being parented.

Parenting can be easier and more effective when parents gain knowledge & skills. It helps to understand that:

  • There are many opportunities for parents & children to learn from each other. Mistakes are opportunities to learn.
  • As children go through developmental stages, it is normal for parents to have different reactions and responses to the behaviors at those stages.
  • Parents can have control over their actions; they often do not have control over their feelings.
  • Children are unique individuals with their own feelings, desires and needs.
  • Children’s behavior has meaning and is not intended to antagonize the parent.
  • Parenting tasks change over time in relation to the stages of children’s development.
  • There are tough times but things can change for the better.
  • There is a range of approaches to disciplining children.

It helps to know how to:

  • Teach children without using violence.
  • Be open so that parents and children can learn from each other.
  • Ask for help when it is needed.
  • Advocate for your own and your children’s needs.

These are some values we hold about parenting. We would like to support parents in working toward these goals.

  • Families’ cultural, racial, religious and linguistic identities need to be respected and supported in order to enhance their ability to function within their families and in a multicultural society.
  • Parenting can be judged as more, less, or not effective; it isn’t helpful to label parenting as good or bad.
  • Parents are responsible for meeting their own emotional needs through the support of other adults.
  • Sometimes parents need to delay meeting their own needs in order to meet their children’s needs.
  • Parents are important to a child even if a parent is absent.
  • Structure, ritual, routine, and clear, realistic expectations are important because they provide predictability, safety and a sense of belonging for children.
  • When possible, children should not be expected to understand adult issues; exposure to adult issues should be limited to what is age-appropriate for the child, depending on the context and the family’s cultural values.
  • It is important for parents to separate feelings about the child from feelings about the child’s behavior and to understand that all behavior has meaning.
  • It is important for parents to acknowledge and promote the expression of their children’s feelings, with the understanding that the expression of feelings may be different given each family’s cultural values.
  • It is helpful for parents to be aware of each individual child’s needs.