Prevention of Child Maltreatment

Child maltreatment is preventable.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has identified individual, family and community factors which contribute to the risk of a child being a victim of maltreatment as well as protective factors supported by research in the prevention of child maltreatment.

Individual
  • Parents’ lack of understanding of children’s needs, child development and parenting skills.
  • Parental history of child abuse and or neglect.
  • Substance abuse and/or mental health issues including depression in the family.
  • Parental characteristics such as young age, low education, single parenthood, large number of dependent children, and low income.
  • Nonbiological, transient caregivers in the home.
  • Parental thoughts and emotions that tend to support or justify maltreatment behaviors.
Family
  • Social isolation.
  • Family disorganization, dissolution, and violence, including intimate partner violence.
  • Parenting stress, poor parent-child relationships, and negative interactions.
Community
  • Community violence.
  • Concentrated neighborhood disadvantage (e.g. high poverty and residential instability, high unemployment rates, and high density of alcohol outlets) and poor social connections.
PROTECTIVE FACTORS
  • Supportive family environment and social networks.
  • Concrete support for basic needs.
  • Nurturing parenting skills.
  • Stable family relationships.
  • Household rules and child monitoring.
  • Parental employment.
  • Parental education.
  • Adequate housing.
  • Access to health care and social services.
  • Caring adults outside the family who can serve as role models or mentors.
  • Communities that support parents and take responsibility for preventing abuse.

For more information on CDC’s research visit here.

For more information on preventing child maltreatment visit here.

Haven’t found what your looking for? We’re here to help.