Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect Information Resources

To view the keynote presentations from the Institute's 2018 research symposium on child abuse prevention, please use the buttons below.

  View Presentation by Dr. Sacha Klein (Inter-agency Partnerships)

  View Presentation by Dr. Gary and Robin Melton (Strong Communities)

This list includes information from federal, state and community sources. The reports listed first are overviews of relevant research, programs and policies. A brief summary or introduction from each of these publications is presented along with an internet link to the actual publication. Next, citations for several journal articles and a book chapter are listed. Third, websites (URL) that post information on prevention policies and programs, as well as, child abuse and neglect statistics, are listed. A large number of these websites are sponsored by the Children’s Bureau (federal). Several Florida state agency and private non-profit agency websites are also listed.

 Symposium Brief


Reports on Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect

Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect: A Technical Package for Policy, Norm, and Programmatic Activities (2016)
Division of Violence Prevention
National Center for Injury Prevention and Control
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

In the overview of the publication, it states the following: This technical package represents a select group of strategies based on the best available evidence to help prevent child abuse and neglect. These strategies include strengthening economic supports to families; changing social norms to support parents and positive parenting; providing quality care and education early in life; enhancing parenting skills to promote healthy child development; and intervening to lessen harms and prevent future risk. The strategies represented in this package include those with a focus on preventing child abuse and neglect from happening in the first place as well as approaches to lessen the immediate and long-term harms of child abuse and neglect. These strategies range from a focus on individuals, families, and relationships to broader community and societal change. This range of strategies is needed to better address the interplay between individual-family behavior and broader neighborhood, community, and cultural contexts. This package supports CDC’s Essentials for Childhood framework for preventing child abuse and neglect. In particular, it articulates a select set of strategies and specific approaches that can create the context for healthy children and families and prevent child abuse and neglect. Commitment, cooperation, and leadership from numerous sectors, including public health, education, justice, health care, social services, business/labor, and government can bring about successful implementation of this package.

 Link to Publication

Child Maltreatment Prevention: Past, Present, and Future
Division of Violence Prevention
Issue Brief (July 2017)
Child Welfare Information Gateway
Children’s Bureau, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of HHS

In the introduction to this publication, the following is stated: Child maltreatment prevention efforts have grown and changed substantially over the last half century. They have moved beyond a public awareness approach to one that emphasizes the vital role of community, early intervention services, and caregiver education to help keep children safe from abuse and neglect. There is growing recognition that child maltreatment is a substantial public health concern as well as a serious social problem. Recent research suggests investments in prevention go beyond protecting children from maltreatment to also preventing maltreatment’s devastating consequences, such as debilitating and lifelong physical and mental health problems, considerable treatment and health-care costs, and lost opportunities in education and work (Institute of Medicine & National Research Council, 2014). This issue brief presents prevention as the most important means of keeping children safe from abuse and neglect and highlights current best practices and emerging trends in the child protection field.

 Link to Publication

Child Abuse Prevention: A Job Half Done
Chapin Hall Issue Brief (Deborah Daro, February 2010)

As stated in this publication, the brief “discusses the findings of the Fourth Federal Incidence Study on Child Maltreatment (NIS 4), which reports a significant reduction in the overall rate of child maltreatment since the 1993 NIS. The study reflects substantial drops in the rates of sexual abuse, physical abuse, and emotional abuse. However, no significant changes were documented in the rate of child neglect, a more chronic and pervasive form of child maltreatment—and the one that is most frequently documented among children in the child welfare system. Nonetheless, the study shows a meaningful drop in the rate of violence towards children—a drop that may be attributable to the implementation of comprehensive prevention strategies, high-quality clinical interventions, and aggressive prosecution of the most serious offenders. The author argues that, though these findings are encouraging, there is more work to be done. Despite the impressive declines in abuse documented in the most recent NIS study, the current rate of child maltreatment is still 75 percent higher than the rate observed in the 1980 NIS study. In contrast to the targeted interventions and broad universal strategies enacted to prevent sexual abuse, efforts to prevent physical abuse and neglect have been far less comprehensive. Strong empirical evidence exists for investing in prevention efforts during the first few years of a child’s life through programs like intensive home-based interventions, though these efforts can only serve a fraction of new parents. Expansion of these home-based early interventions, as well as other evidence-based, targeted interventions, are an important step in addressing maltreatment, but are only part of the solution. The abuse-prevention message needs to be communicated to the general population through a wide array of media outlets— and individuals, as well as communities, need to accept responsibility for the well-being and healthy development of their children.”

 Link to Publication

Preventing Child Maltreatment
The Future of Children, Volume 19, No. 2, Fall 2009

This volume presents “the best available research on policies and programs designed to prevent maltreatment.” The selection of writings in the volume “assesses whether programs such as community-wide interventions, parenting programs, home visiting, drug and alcohol treatment, and school-based educational programs on sexual abuse, can prevent maltreatment.“ The publication also explores “how CPS agencies might take a more active role in prevention.”

 Link to Publication (online read access or subscription to download)

Neighborhood collective efficacy, parental spanking, and subsequent risk of household child protective services involvement
Child Abuse & Neglect, Volume 80, June 2018

Child maltreatment is a serious public health concern in the United States. Child Protective Services (CPS) looked into claims of suspected maltreatment concerning more than 7.2 million individual children in 2015. Accumulating evidence demonstrates that children of parents who use spanking are at higher risk of experiencing maltreatment. Spanking is the mildest type of corporal punishment that involves parental use of physical force on a child’s bottom with an open hand to stop and correct misbehavior. Despite the considerable link between spanking and maltreatment, spanking constitutes a lawful parenting practice in the U.S. that is not considered as maltreatment unless it results in child injury. While the American Academy of Pediatrics has condemned the practice since 1998, more than half of 3-year-olds in the United States are spanked by a parent in a given month and a full 70% of U.S. adults favor the practice.
Despite the fact that the frequency of parental spanking reaches its peak during the preschool years, prior literature has not investigated the longitudinal associations between neighborhood collective efficacy, spanking, and CPS involvement of preschool-aged children. We hypothesized that both low neighborhood collective efficacy and any use of parental spanking would predict elevated rates of household CPS involvement and that spanking would mediate the relationship between neighborhood collective efficacy and CPS involvement.

 Link to Publication

Prevention: A Risk and Resiliency Perspective
Fraser, M., Randolph, K., & Bennett, M. (2000). Prevention: A risk and resilience perspective. In P. Allen-
Meares & C. Garvin (Eds.), Handbook of Direct Practice in Social Work (pp. 89-111). Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.

Inter-agency Partnerships (Keynote Speaker Documents - Dr. Sacha Klein)
Klein, S. M., Falconer, M. K., & Benson, S. M. (2015). Early care and education for children in the child welfare system: Evaluations of two training programs. Journal of Public Child Welfare. Doi: 10.1080/15548732.2015.1093996

Cost of Maltreatment
Fang, X., Brown, D. S., Florence, C. S., & Mercy, J. A. (2012). The economic burden of child maltreatment in the United States and implications for prevention. Child Abuse & Neglect, 36(2), 156-165. doi:10.1016/j.chiabu.2011.10.006

Strong Communities (Keynote Speaker Documents - Dr. Gary Melton)
Kimbrough-Melton, R. J., & Melton, G. B. (2015). "Someone will notice, and someone will care": How to build Strong Communities for Children. Child Abuse & Neglect, 41, 67-78. doi:10.1016/j.chiabu.2015.02.015

Mcdonell, J. R., Ben-Arieh, A., & Melton, G. B. (2015). Strong Communities for Children: Results of a multi-year community-based initiative to protect children from harm. Child Abuse & Neglect, 41, 79-96. doi:10.1016/j.chiabu.2014.11.016

Mcleigh, J. D., Mcdonell, J. R., & Melton, G. B. (2015). Community differences in the implementation of Strong Communities for Children. Child Abuse & Neglect, 41, 97-112. doi:10.1016/j.chiabu.2014.07.010

Melton, G. B. (2014). Hospitality: Transformative Service to Children, Families, and Communities. American Psychologist, 69 (8), 761-769. doi:10.1037/a0037567


Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Resource Websites

Children’s Bureau, Administration for Children and Families

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 

The Children’s Bureau supports programs, research, and monitoring systems that prevent child abuse and neglect while ensuring that children who are victims receive treatment and care.

We provide funding to states and tribes to help them strengthen families and prevent child abuse and neglect. Our funding also provides for child abuse and neglect assessment, investigation, prosecution, and treatment activities.

The following are our child abuse and neglect programs:

Child Abuse & Neglect Reporting Systems

The Children’s Bureau collects case-level data on reports of child abuse and neglect and analyzes the data. We make our reports available to the public and provide an annual report to Congress.

Reporting systems include the following:

Child Abuse & Neglect Training and Technical Assistance

Through our Training and Technical Assistance Network, we help states and tribes with the following:

  • Child protection
  • Prevention of child maltreatment
  • In-home services for families
  • Assistance for infants at risk of abandonment

For more information about training and technical assistance, you can visit the following resource centers:

Child Welfare Information Gateway

Children’s Bureau, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Prevention Overview, Public Awareness and Programs

Child Abuse and Neglect Overview, Definitions and Risk Factors

2018 Prevention Resource Guide

Child Maltreatment 2015—aggregate statistics by state

Prevent Child Abuse Florida, Ounce of Prevention Fund of Florida

Information on Circle of Parents, Resilience, Pinwheels for Prevention, and Prevention Resources

Florida Home Visiting Programs

Healthy Families Florida, Ounce of Prevention Fund of Florida

Maternal Infant & Early Childhood Home Visiting Initiative (MEICHV)

Florida Coalition for Children (FCC)

The mission of the Florida Coalition for Children (FCC) is to advocate on behalf of Florida’s abused, abandoned, neglected, and at-risk children, and to support the agencies and individuals who work on their behalf.

The vision of the Coalition is to see a system of child welfare in Florida that is fully resourced, well managed, and fulfills the needs of Florida’s vulnerable children and families.

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