- Brenda Jones Harden, Cassandra Simons, Michelle Johnson-Motoyama, and Richard P. Barth
- September 2021
- Link to Focus-on-Poverty-37-2c (PDF)
- Link to Focus-on-Poverty-Classroom-Supplement-37-2 (PDF)
Brenda Jones Harden and colleagues at the University of Maryland, Cassandra Simons and Richard Barth, collaborated with Michelle Johnson-Motoyama of The Ohio State University to sketch the landscape of child maltreatment prevention and offer paths forward for a more effective and efficient public health approach. This approach includes seeking to expand organizational capacities among child welfare service providers while addressing adverse community conditions which foster the conditions for maltreatment. Early childhood care and education, home visitation, clinic-based programs, school-based programs, and community education and mobilization initiatives are all offered as proactive rather than reactive options for enhanced child well-being.
- Child maltreatment arises most frequently when families experiencing adverse experiences are living in communities with adverse environments.
- Child maltreatment prevention calls for multiple levels of evidence-based policies and practices.
- An effective approach to prevention requires the expansion of organizational capacity to deliver family-based interventions while addressing adverse community environments.
- A prevention science lens can help analyze pathways to adding proactive features to what have historically been reactive health and human services systems.
- Effective prevention strategies include early childhood care and education, home visitation, clinic-based programs, school-based programs, and community education and mobilization initiatives.