Keeping Amish and Old Order Mennonite Children Safe from Abuse

NEW for 2021: Cultural Awareness Training: Amish & Old Order Mennonites
Working Together to Prevent Child Abuse and Increase Child Safety
Watch the 2-minute trailer above.

The full 90-minute online training video provides valuable information for social service professionals on how to relate to Amish / Old Order Mennonite families and communities. Produced and led by Dr. Jeanette Harder, it equips workers to conduct investigations, provide and connect families to services, and partner with Plain communities to prevent child abuse and neglect.

Download flyer on the Cultural Awareness Training: Amish & Old Order Mennonites here.
Email info [at] for access to the 90-minute online training video.  


book cover

Horse-and-buggy Amish are one of the fastest growing subgroups in the United States. With a typical family having 6-18 children and the many unique characteristics of their faith and culture, the importance of child abuse prevention training is paramount.

Cultural Awareness Trainings! 

Amish and Old Order Mennonites now live in at least 31 states, 4 Canadian provinces, and 2 South American countries. With this relatively new spread of Plain communities, child welfare, healthcare, and law enforcement professionals are asking for cultural awareness training. We are one of the only organizations that offer these in-person and online trainings, which provide an overview of the Plain community faith and culture, discuss unique strengths and vulnerabilities of these religious groups, and introduce strategies for keeping their children and youth safe.

(Statistics from the Young Center for
Anabaptist and Pietist Studies at
Elizabethtown College in PA.)

Learn more about our Amish and Old Order Mennonite cultural awareness training. Contact Kathy at kathy [at] for more information and pricing.

Click here for a flyer on the cultural awareness trainings.

Listen to a story of several Amish families that illustrates the need for professionals to understand their unique faith and culture.

Jeanette Harder, a Dove's Nest cofounder and board member, has authored a book with Allen Hoover, a horse-and-buggy Old Order Mennonite man: For the Sake of a Child: Love, Safety, and Abuse in Our Plain Communities (Ridgeway Publishing, 2019). The intended audience for this short, easy-to-read book is Amish and Old Order Mennonite parents. Chock-full of stories, this book invites readers to gain positive parenting skills, recognize and report abuse, and keep children safe.

Read about the book in the Mennonite World Review.

Read a review by Trudy Metzger in the Journal of Amish and Plain Anabaptist Studies.


  • Our Communities: Unique Strengths and Weaknesses
  • Types of Child Abuse and Neglect
  • Recognizing Abuse
  • Positive Parenting
  • Prevention of Abuse and Neglect
  • Getting Help
  • Role of Social Services
  • Foster Care and Adoption

Jeanette Harder

Hear Jeanette read two of the many stories from the book:
Bishop Aaron's Son Encounters a Hot Air Balloon

Sarah Remembers

Order a book today from, or by calling Ridgeway Publishers at (888) 822-7894 ($9.99 + shipping). Or, with a gift of $25 or more to Dove’s Nest, Jeanette Harder will send you a signed copy of the book (be sure to provide your name and street and email address).

Useful resources:

Harder, J. & Fontes, L. (2019). "Working with Amish Families on Child Abuse and Neglect." Blog entry published online by Psychology Today.

Harder, J. (2018). "Keeping Amish Children Safe." In C. James-Brown, D. S. Wolfe, J. Collins, R. Adams et al. (Eds.). Child Maltreatment in Insular and Isolated Communities. Washington, DC: CWLA Press.

Read more about Dove's Nest work with Amish and Old Order Mennonite communities: