Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

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How You Can Make Your Community Safer for Children

Your children’s safety is one of the highest priorities in your life, but you can only do so much by yourself. The best way to ensure your children’s safety in your community is to work to promote a safe and healthy environment for the entire neighborhood. Below are four ideas to get you started.

1. Connect With Your Neighbors

You and your neighbors are the first line of defense against crime in your neighborhood. Get to know your neighbors. Invite them over. Exchange phone numbers. Keep an eye on the local kids as the play outside and know where your own children are at all times. When you see an unfamiliar car parked in front of the neighbor’s house, pick up the phone and check to see that everything is okay.

2. Contribute To Local Food Banks

There are many different yet interconnected factors that contribute to the health, safety and welfare of children and families in your community. Keeping kids safe on the street isn’t just about protecting them from bullies and criminals. Other problems like poverty and hunger also contribute to increased crime rates and can create a harmful environment for children.

One way to promote child welfare, fight poverty and reduce crime is to donate food to your local food bank or soup kitchen. To go for an even larger impact, talk to your boss at work to see if your company might be willing to organize a canned food drive for your local charity.

3. Push to Upgrade Signal Lights, Crosswalks & Speed Limits

Many communities—especially those in lower-income neighborhoods – are riddled with safety hazards like unmarked crosswalks, dim or broken street lights and high speed limits. While local political and civic leaders are tasked with keeping up with these developments, it’s often up to citizens like yourself to push for change.

Get involved. Speak up at city council meetings and homeowner’s association (HOA) meetings. Contact your local police department with your concerns. Or take it a step further by earning a Master’s of Public Administration degree and pursuing a career in local government.

4. Participate in a Neighborhood Watch Program

If your community has a Neighborhood Watch or similar citizen policing program in place, sign up to help out. You don’t have to put yourself in harm’s way or anything like that. Just make sure you have phone numbers on hand to report anything suspicious and then take a walk around the block with some other participants one night a week. Burglars and predators don’t like attention, and they tend to avoid neighborhoods where citizens are always walking the streets.

Keeping children safe is a job for your whole community. There are plenty of things that you can do as an individual and as a family to make a difference. Try some of these tips to make your neighborhood a safer place for all the families on your block and beyond.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.

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