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.