Use the following resources to learn more about child abuse prevention programs and strategies supported by scientific research. These resources can help programs choose and implement evidence-based practices that will suit the needs of the families and communities they serve. Resources include State and local examples.
The practices included below have been identified by their developers or an outside group as "evidence-based." Child Welfare Information Gateway and the Children's Bureau do not endorse individual practices or programs or make any claims about the effectiveness of the approaches described. This information is provided as a resource.
Better Evidence for Decision Makers (PDF - 6,880 KB)
Center for the Study of Social Policy (2016)
Examines flaws with current systems providing access for decision makers, provides information about evidence-based programs, and proposes collaborative and fluid models where programs can adapt to new information and changing circumstances.
Evidence and Innovation
Provides interactive tools and other resources to help youth-serving organizations and community partnerships plan, implement, locate, and participate in effective programs for youth. The website includes information on positive youth development, mentoring, transitioning youth, evidence-based programs, and more.
Evidence-Based and Promising Interventions for Preventing Child Fatalities and Severe Child Injuries Related to Child Maltreatment (PDF - 1,669 KB)
Summarizes evidence-based practices and promising practices that may prevent child fatalities and severe injuries related to child maltreatment. The publication also outlines future directions for practice and research.
Family Connections: National Program Replication Project
University of Maryland, Baltimore
Describes a community-based neglect prevention program targeting at-risk families with children between the ages of 5 and 11. Family Connections was the only program in the nation designated as "demonstrated effective" in the prevention of child abuse and neglect in the 2003 report, Emerging Practices in the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect.
Family Search and Engagement (FSE) Program Manual
Washoe County Department of Social Services (2016)
Describes the implementation of the FSE program in Washoe County, including historical context. The manual discusses system readiness for program implementation and the six stages of operationalized intervention in order to assist field offices in implementing similar programs.
Integrating Evidence-Based Practices Into CBCAP Programs: A Tool for Critical Discussions
FRIENDS National Resource Center for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention
Guides State child abuse prevention programs through the process of integrating evidence-informed or evidence-based practices that are the best possible fit with their service population, mission, and resources.
Kansas Intensive Permanency Project (KIPP) Program Manual
University of Kansas School of Social Welfare & Kansas Department of Children and Families (2016)
Examines KIPP's implementation process by sharing reflections, lessons learned, and practical implementation experiences. This manual can assist others in replicating KIPP or implementing similar programs tailored to their local communities.
A Mixed Methods Evaluation of Early Childhood Abuse Prevention Within Evidence-Based Home Visiting Programs (PDF - 807 KB)
Matone et al. (2018)
Maternal and Child Health, 22(1)
Presents the results of a study on the impact and context of early childhood home visiting on rates of child abuse-related injury. Conclusions from this study showed that the success of abuse prevention in home visiting depends on the strength of the curriculum, the fidelity of delivery, and whether the program reaches people in caregiving roles.
Safety Assessment Family Evaluation--Family Connections (SAFE-FC) Program Manual
Washoe County Department of Social Services (2016)
Provides detailed information about the implementation process of the Safety Assessment Family Evaluation—Family Connections program in Washoe County, including background information and lessons learned.
Strengthening Families Program (SFP) (PDF - 254 KB)
National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections (2014)
Provides a brief overview of the Strengthening Families Program, a family skills training program designed to increase resilience and reduce risk factors for behavioral, emotional, academic, and social problems in children. Detailed descriptions of the outcomes and research mentioned, the quality of research rating, full program information, and a list of studies reviewed are included.
A TARGETed© Approach to Working With Traumatized Youth and Families Program Manual
Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (2016)
Details the implementation process of the Illinois Trauma Focus Model for Reducing Long-Term Foster Care project in order to assist others in adapting the process for local use. This manual discusses staff and client recruitment strategies as well as data-driven decision-making related to program implementation.
Using Different Types of Evidence in Decision-Making
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Offers practitioners and others working to prevent violence with knowledge and resources for using evidence-based practices in their decision-making processes.
What Are Some Examples of Evidence-Informed Practices to Keep Children Safe and Promote Permanency?
Casey Family Programs (2018)
Examines evidence-informed prevention strategies that can help keep children safe and reduce the need for further system intervention. Effective prevention of child abuse and neglect requires both primary and secondary prevention approaches and examples of each are listed on the page.
Bring Up Nebraska
Supports community efforts for child abuse prevention and works to reduce entry into the child welfare system and increase supports for children and families. The organization aims to raise awareness of what is working and what is needed to promote a community-based model of prevention.
Child FIRST (Family Interagency, Resource, Support, and Training)
Provides home visiting for families with young children 5 or under that are at high risk for developmental, emotional, or behavioral problems or maltreatment. Child FIRST connects families with community-based services to reduce family stress levels and provides in-home clinical services to help build parent-child attachment, heal trauma in both the caregiver and child, and prevent additional toxic stress.
Evidence-Based Practices for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (PDF - 795 KB)
Prevent Child Abuse Iowa (2014)
Describes the characteristics of effective, evidence-based programs designed to support families and reduce child abuse and neglect to help agencies in Iowa select the most effective program or programs in their work with families.
Institute for Family Development
Provides an evidence-based home and community-based program for parents/caregivers of children ages 0–17 that offers intensive family preservation services to help keep families together. The program is designed to engage families by serving them in their home environment and may be useful in neglect cases by helping primary caregivers improve their supervision of children and learn how to access community-based supports.
Hope Center for Children
Works to prevent child abuse and neglect in South Carolina by meeting child and family needs. The organization works to equip parents with the tools they need to teach strong values and life skills to their children.
Interagency Collaborative Team Model for Capacity Building to Scale-Up Evidence-Based Practice (PDF - 435 KB)
Hurlburt, Aarons, Fettes, Willging, Gunderson, & Chaffin (2014)
Children and Youth Services Review, 39
Explores the Interagency Collaborative Team process model to implement an evidence-based child neglect intervention, SafeCare, in a children's service system in one large county in California.
Tennessee Department of Children's Services
Reviews prevention strategies and programs being used in the State of Tennessee to prevent child abuse and neglect. These include community-based child abuse prevention programs such as the Nurturing Parenting Program and Darkness to Light's Stewards of Children program.
Using Integrated Data Systems to Improve Case Management and Develop Predictive Modeling Tools (PDF - 156 KB)
Anne E. Casey Foundation (2017)
Explains how a county and State are using data and predictive modeling to help case managers identify the most at-risk families for child abuse and neglect and help them improve child welfare and health care outcomes.