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Program assists parents in raising nonviolent children

The United States leads the world in rates of youth violence. Unfortunately violence in the form of physical aggression, fights, and related acts, such as the tragic school shooting in Newton, Conn., are becoming too commonplace in American schools.

In an effort to address the issue of youth violence, as well as related issues of child maltreatment and family violence, the ACT Great Lakes Regional Center at The University of Toledo offers the ACT Raising Safe Kids program for parents and caregivers of young children. The program helps parents to protect children from violence, use effective nonviolent methods of raising children, and foster safe and nurturing home environments. The program provides interactive learning opportunities for parents and caregivers in friendly environments.

“Decades of research underscore how critical it is for parents and caregivers to be aware of and to minimize the impact of violence on children. Using programs such as ACT, we can mobilize parents to protect children from violence and to raise children who are nonviolent,” said Dr. Michele Knox, clinical child psychologist at the UT Medical Center and ACT Regional Center Director. “It is very difficult to effectively treat violent teens. We are far better off when we prevent the problem from happening by starting early in life.”

The ACT program’s mission is to mobilize communities and educate families to create safe, nurturing environments that protect children and youth from violence and its consequences. ACT provides a parenting program for parents of young children that includes classes and information to teach parents effective, nonviolent discipline and to prevent violence exposure and its effects. Research on the program demonstrates improved parenting, reduced child maltreatment, and reduced aggressive and disruptive behavior in children of parents who complete the program.

The Great Lakes Regional Center in Toledo is one of five regional centers that engage families and professionals in their regions to respond local communities’ needs. The others are located in Chicago, Miami, Waltham, Mass. and Pleasant Hill, Calif.

The ACT Great Lakes Regional Center is funded by the Verizon Foundation, Auto Dealers United for Kids – Toledo, American Psychological Association and Metlife Foundation.

Contact the ACT Great Lakes Regional Center at 419-383-5494 for more information.

is UT's Director of University Communications. Contact her at 419.530.2410 or
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