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

Our Values

We are:

  • all responsible for the well-being of children. Whether working directly with children, their families or caregivers, communities, or systems, our goal is to create the greatest positive outcomes for children. No one can do this alone; preventing child abuse is a communal responsibility.
  • culturally humble and honor a variety of perspectives. We honor the uniqueness of everyone’s own lived experiences and strive for an environment that includes the perspectives of our teams, ourselves as individuals, our clients, and our partners.
  • focused on strengths. We value the agency of individuals, families, and systems to keep kids safe. Our approach is to support others in their own growth.
  • a learning organization. We continuously seek to improve as individuals, teams, and an organization. We try new approaches and use data to inform our work.
  • optimistic and joyful in our work. We believe that every child can be kept safe. We seek to inspire each other, our clients, and our partners to work together as a community to prevent child abuse.


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.