Child abuse and neglect

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter or section

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Introduction Prevention of child maltreatment is traditionally classified into three levels: primary prevention (universal services aimed at the whole population); secondary prevention (targeted services for families identified as in need of further support); and tertiary prevention (services offered once difficulties have occurred). However, increasingly it has been argued that child maltreatment should be considered within the broader context of child welfare, families and communities (World Health Organization, 1998a, b). This approach assists in moving the focus away from child protection professionals to highlighting the role of the Health and Social Services in general. This has been termed the public health approach which promotes child care and protection within the broader context of child welfare, families and communities. For example, the Health Service can look at areas of service provision for families and children, where good practice can impact on child welfare; specifically, pregnancy and childbirth-related services (primary prevention), targeting resources to families at risk of child maltreatment (secondary prevention) and the management of childhood health and illness (secondary and tertiary prevention). Families who come into contact with health and social services can be assessed in terms of need by considering the following three factors (Department of Health, 2000): Assessment of children’s development needs in general Assessment of the parent(s) capacity to respond appropriately to their child’s needs Assessment of the wider social and environmental factors that impact on the capacity to parent.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCambridge Handbook of Psychology, Health and Medicine, Second Edition
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9780511543579
ISBN (Print)9780511543579
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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