How to Help a Family

Children have told us, "If you want to help me, help my family." 


One Small Thing Video


How to Help a Family

CPPC partners help children by building respectful, honest and compassionate relationships with the adults in their lives - because no matter what they have been through, all families can thrive. We all have needs, and we all have something to offer.  When we see a friend or neighbor who is struggling and we want to lend a hand, knowing how to start that conversation can often be the hardest part.

Here are some tips:

Focus on Strengths

Every family has strengths, and when supported can make well-infomed decisions about keeping children safe . Focusing on these strengths is an important first step in starting a conversation.


Reduce Stigma and Shame  

Parents may carry a lot of shame. Be aware of shame triggers, and take opportunities to reduce - rather than create - more shame. Remain nonjudgemental and continually ask yourself, “Am I making a value judgment, or is this a safety concern?” Be respectful with your body language. Develop positive messages that acknowledge feelings, and provide messages of hope because no matter what they have been through, all families can thrive. 


Reflect on Better Times

For some of us, life can feel like it’s more down than up, but it’s important to remember when things were going well.  Sometimes, it can be difficult for us to see these changes ourselves, as they usually happen over time, little by little. As an outside observer, it can be helpful to talk with your friend or neighbor about when you noticed that things were better.​


Offer What You Can 

Every one of us has something to offer, regardless of how small or seemingly insignificant.  Your helping hand can mean a world of difference to a friend or neighbor in need. For example, you could invite a family over for dinner and/or offer to give parents a break by watching their kids for a couple of hours. You could also consider connecting parents to a CPPC Parent Partner or, with the parents' permission, call a CPPC partner to help convene a Preventive Family Team Meeting to help meet the family's need. 

We also have available for download our Family Support Contact Tool. The Family Support Contact Tool is designed to help families identify supports in their neighborhoods and communities.

Family Support Contact Tool 


Remember, You Are Not Alone

The CPPC network has connections to resources and supports to help families. Please contact us if you have questions and/or want more information. You can also join us for a CPPC 101 training to learn more about how our partners work together and how you can get involved! Lastly, it is important that as a helper, you have the resources and support you need. Please visit our Help for Helpers page to learn more.