Child Maltreatment Prevention and Intervention

Child maltreatment is a serious problem that can have lasting harmful effects on victims.  The goal for child maltreatment prevention is simple – to stop child abuse and neglect from happening in the first place.  However, the solutions are as complex as the problem.

Prevention efforts should ultimately factors and increase the factors that buffer against risk.  In addition, prevention should address all levels that influence child maltreatment:  individual, relationship, community, and society.  Effective prevention strategies are necessary to promote awareness about child maltreatment and to foster commitment to social change.

Interventions with Impact

Child-Parent Centers

Child -parent Centers (CPCs) provide comprehensive educational and family support to economically disadvantaged children and their parents.  The program requires parental participation and emphasizes a child-centered, individualized approach to social and cognitive development.  In a matched control trial, children participating in these centers had a 52 percent reduction in child maltreatment (Reynolds & Robertson, 2003.)

Nurse-Family Partnership

Nurse-Family Partnership is a nurse home visitation program for low-income, first-time parents and their children beginning prenatally and continuing up to the child’s second birthday.  The program encourages healthy behaviors during and after pregnancy, teaches appropriate parenting skills, and links parents to community services.  A randomized controlled trial documented a 48 percent reduction in child maltreatment at the 15-year follow-up (Olds et al., 1997).

Triple P

Triple P is a multi-level system of parenting interventions based on need usually delivered through health care.  In the U.S. Triple P System Trial, funded by the CDC, researchers found a 28 percent reduction in substantiated abuse cases, a 44 percent reduction in child out-of-home placements, and a 35 percent reduction in hospitalizations and emergency room visits for child injuries in nine study counties in South Carolina where parenting interventions were implemented (Prinz et at,. 2009)

Additional Resources

(The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – CDC)