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​Warning Signs- Choose a person to care for your child that is NOT:

•Angry or impatient when children have tantrums, cry, or misbehave.
•Violent and/or controlling with his or her partner.
•Abusing alcohol and drugs, including marijuana.
•Using prescription medications that have bad side effects or make the person drowsy.
•Untrustworthy for any reason. 

Discipline or Abuse?

Could your partner be abusing your child and calling it, "punishment?" Learn to recognize the difference between punishment and abuse. It could save your child's life. Discipline runs the risk of being excessive if...

•The child has a physical injury, such as bruising, broken skin, swelling, marks from an object such as an extension cord or hairbrush, a burn or a situation that requires medical attention.
•The person administering the punishment means to instill fear rather than educate your child.
•The person administering the punishment loses control.
•The action is inappropriate for the child's age.
•The action results from unreasonable demands or expectations for the child.

When Do I Know if I've Gone Too Far? Ask yourself how you feel about the discipline.

•Do I feel good about this action?
•Is there an important lesson to be taught?
•Does the child know that the person giving the punishment loves him or her?
•Is there mutual respect, or is there fear?
•Are you or your partner behaving in a way you would like your child to behave?

Your child needs to know that you are in charge, but that you love and respect them. They should not fear you or your partner. Talk to your children and decide together on expectations and reasonable consequences for misbehavior. 

The "Think Before you Trust"™  is an effort to support and educate parents in our community about the risk that children face when they are left alone under the care of non-relatives; such as a boyfriend or girlfriend of the parent, a paid caregiver, roommate, neighbor, etc.

It's a common mistake to think that just because someone loves you, he or she will be able to safely care for your child. It's important to understand that not everyone has the parenting skills and patience necessary to provide care for a child. In these situations, in Texas, we have seen children abused, and sometimes killed.

Fortunately, not all of these incidents end in fatality, but in order to prevent abuse and/or neglect of children, Project C.H.A.N.C.E. initiated this Campaign to educate parents on how to keep their children safe. This campaign was adapted from the national 2008 campaign entitled "Choose Your Partner Carefully" originally developed by the Public Children Services Association of Ohio. 

Choosing the right person to care for your child, including a partner, is one of the most important decisions a parent can make. Unsafe caregivers could be your boyfriend/girlfriend, relative, or neighbor. Statistics show that children are more likely to be abused, neglected or DIE at the hands of an unsafe caregiver than from a stranger.

The objective of our Think Before you Trust Campaign is to:

•Increase awareness among parents of the risk their children face when a non-related male/female is entrusted with their care
•Provide tools to help parents better evaluate the likelihood that their paramour could become a perpetrator of abuse
•Educate parents to help them recognize potential signs of abuse to their children
•Educate parents about potential community resources for child care  (other than non-related male/female)
•Increase community awareness of the problem and its overall impact on the community​

How to Choose Your Partner / Person(s) Caring for Your Child

How well do you know the person who will be caring for your child?

Choosing an appropriate caregiver, including a caregiving partner, is one of the most important decisions a parent can make. Just because someone is a lover, relative, or close friend does not mean they are capable of taking care of a child.

If you have an uncomfortable feeling about a man/woman, you probably have a good reason. Follow your instincts. Take a safety test, and always make a decision in your child's best interest.

· How does he/she treat other women/men in his/her life? How does he/she treat other children (nieces, 

   nephews, friends' children, etc.)?
· Does he/she get angry when you spend time with your child?
· Does he/she get angry or impatient when your child cries or has a tantrum? 
· Does he/she call your child bad names or put them down?
· Does he/she think it's funny to scare your child?
· Does he/she make all the decisions for you and your child?
· Does he/she put you down or tell you that you're a bad parent or that you shouldn't have your kids?
· Does he/she pretend when he/she hurts your child that you are to blame or that it's no big deal?
· Does he/she tell you that our child is a nuisance or annoying?
· Does he/she scare your child by using guns, knives, or other weapons?

If you answered yes to even one of these questions, your child could be at risk. Never leave your child with someone you don't trust to keep your child safe