ERIC Number: EJ698095
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Improving Child Maltreatment Detection Systems: A Large-Scale Case Study Involving Health, Social Services, and School Professionals
Cerezo, M.A.; Pons-Salvador, G.
Child Abuse and Neglect: The International Journal, v28 n11 p1153-1169 Nov 2004
Objectives:: The purpose of this 5-year study was to improve detection in two consecutive phases: (a) To close the gap between the number of identified cases and the actual number of cases of child abuse by increasing detection; and (b) To increase the possibility of a broader spectrum of detection. Method:: The Balearic Islands (one of the Autonomous Communities of Spain, with 161,287 children under 18 years old) was selected as the study area. Phase 1: front-line professionals (181) from all the health and social services agencies were trained in detection. Phase 2, school professionals (251) from all schools in the territory were also trained. The independent factor was the intervention provided to the professionals with training and support. A pre-post design was used over the area, divided in territories, in which the program was gradually implemented to provide within-territory and between-territories controls. Results:: Phase 1: Comparison before-after implementation of the program showed that detection was tripled in the Balearic Islands (from .58 to 1.77 per 1,000 children). An unplanned generalization effect was found, and post hoc analysis considering only the islands showed the expected increase. Phase 2: A subsequent increased detection rate was found in Child Protection Services cases 2.18 per 1,000. Of those new cases, 24.5% came from schools, after controlling for duplication. Conclusions:: This detection system showed positive changes after training and supporting frontline health and social services professionals. However, these professionals only have occasional contacts with the child population. Therefore, to broaden the spectrum of detection and to reach more maltreated children, who are less likely to be visible to CPS, it is necessary to train and support school professionals because of the frequency of their contacts with children on an almost daily basis.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Spain