The Front Porch Project

Have you found yourself concerned for a child and thought about how you could have gotten involved? Or more importantly, wondered why you didn't?

The Front Porch Project® training for community members looks at why people do (and don't) get involved and provides strategies on how you can help by stepping in and supporting families. As the pandemic continues, families continue to face immense stress. It's important, now more than ever, to know how you can help to support families. By attending this training, you are joining a community of Mainers committed to help prevent future tragedies from occurring to any more of our children. The training is free, available online and available to anyone in the state.

Specifically, this training teaches you to:
  • Increase your awareness of importance of prevention in helping to protect children and support families.
  • Identify and develop comfort with a range of parenting approaches.
  • Identify when and how to get involved in situations involving a child.
  • Think of possible responses, interventions and problem-solving strategies.
  • Identify “roadblocks” to stepping in and find safe ways around them.
  • Increase your comfort level with stepping into those situations.
  • Understand the impact that culture, gender and socioeconomic status can have on parenting and on actions to you might take on behalf of children.
  • Reach out to others in your community to protect children and support families.

The Front Porch Project® of Maine is a community response initiative, funded in part by donations to the Maine Children's Trust on behalf of Marissa Kennedy, a child tragically lost to child abuse. For more information on how to get involved, please contact your local Prevention Council by clicking here.


Training FAQ

What is the Front Porch Project®?

The Front Porch Project® is a community-based initiative founded on the belief that everyone can and should play a role in preventing child abuse. Everyone can do something! It is supported by research focusing on how adults learn and make decisions to act on behalf of children, and was developed by the Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance. The Front Porch Project® of Maine is a community response initiative, funded in part by donations to the Maine Children's Trust on behalf of Marissa Kennedy, a child tragically lost to child abuse.

How does the Front Porch Project® of Maine Work?
Maine Children's Trust, a statewide child abuse prevention organization, has partnered with local Prevention Councils to offer the Front Porch Project® training across the state. It is an interactive, fun mix of discussion and activities that encourage learning and community building. The training is offered online and in-person (as safety restrictions allow) over 3-6 hours and can be presented in one to two sessions. It is provided at no charge to participants and held in many community settings.

The Front Porch Project® offers a comprehensive look at why people do (and don't) get involved when they are concerned about a child. This training is not a "one size fits all" approach; we don't tell you what to do in any given situation. Instead, we help you to think through situations you have encountered and decide on a response that feels right for you. We provide an opportunity for you to share ideas with other people in your community and practice strategies for stepping in to help. You will leave with real-world examples and concrete steps to take when something "just doesn't seem right" with a child in your neighborhood, place of worship, or public place.

Specifically, the training includes the following content:
  • Welcome, Introduction and Overview
  • Abuse and Perception: Setting the context around what the data shows about the public perception of abuse
  • Influence and Impact: Informs participants about factors that influence intervention and the complex issues facing families
  • Social Influence: Highlights the role of social media on social norms and the importance of community protective factors
  • Deciding to Help: Examines factors that influence whether a person intervenes, including cultural and societal factors
  • What You Can Do: Discuss specific actions someone can do to help

Three surveys are provided: a pre, post, and follow-up survey 6 months afterward. In order to thank you for your participation and for becoming a child abuse prevention advocate, Maine Children's Trust will collect your contact information so that we can mail you a completion certificate and a Pinwheels for Prevention lapel pin.