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.
- 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.
- Social isolation.
- Family disorganization, dissolution, and violence, including intimate partner violence.
- Parenting stress, poor parent-child relationships, and negative interactions.
- 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.
- 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.