A Community that Cares


Heartland for Children believes that all parents want to be good parents.

It is this foundational belief that fuels our work in establishing a Positive Culture Framework within the Communities that we serve. Part of this framework is a Prevention Portfolio highlighting the great child abuse prevention work already being done in our community, as well as some opportunities for new approaches and methods that can positively impact parenting practices and keep children safe. One such opportunity is a Positive Community Norms campaign.

Positive parenting norms exist in our community and we believe they are worth growing.

Working with the Center for Health and Safety Culture at Montana State University, we were able to show just how strong parenting norms are in the communities we serve. It is our goal to build upon these existing norms by educating our community and working to correct any misperceptions about parenting beliefs and attitudes. Along with the strong parenting norms we found, we also identified that many parents do not believe that other parents have the same strong parenting beliefs and attitudes. This creates an opportunity to educate those parents and the community at large about the true parenting norms in an effort to correct widely held misperceptions about parenting.

Normative theories tell us that people tend to do (or believe) what they think most people do or believe. This is the basis for this work. We are looking to make sure that parents in our community as well as the community at large understand the true strong parenting norms that exist to help grow these norms so that misperceptions about parenting don’t hold sway.

We are rolling out a series of messages over the course of the next year and we can use your help. Please consider sharing these messages with your family, friends and colleagues. Give us your thoughts on the campaign by participating in the pilot testing section of this site. Join your local county-level taskforce for the prevention of child maltreatment to help stay up to date with the campaign progress and assist with other prevention efforts. Refer individuals to this website or to our contact listed below. And above all else, continue to do a good job protecting and nurturing children.

Kathie Southern
(863) 519-8900, x.205