The Children's Bureau's information service, Child Welfare Information Gateway, offers a number of publications related to preventing child abuse, protecting children from the risk of abuse, and promoting healthy families. Listed below are several bulletins for professionals, factsheets for families, and issue briefs that cover research and evidence-based or evidence-informed practices for preventing maltreatment.
2014 Prevention Resource Guide: Making Meaningful Connections
Child Welfare Information Gateway;Children's Bureau;FRIENDS National Resource Center For Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention;Center for the Study of Social Policy-Strengthening Families
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This Resource Guide was written to support service providers in their work with parents, caregivers, and their children to strengthen families and prevent child abuse and neglect. The guide includes information about protective factors that help reduce the risk of child maltreatment, strategies for changing how communities support families, and evidence-informed practices. It also offers suggestions for enhancing protective factors in families, tools to build awareness and develop community partnerships, information about child abuse and neglect, a directory of national organizations that work to strengthen families, and tip sheets in English and Spanish on specific parenting topics.
Protective Factors Approaches in Child Welfare
Provides an overview of protective factors approaches to the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect. It is designed to help policymakers, administrators, child welfare and related professionals, service providers, advocates, and other interested individuals understand the concepts of risk and protective factors in families and communities and learn ways in which building protective factors can help to lessen risks for child abuse and neglect.
Differential Response to Reports of Child Abuse and Neglect
Provides an overview of differential response (DR) in the United States and highlights lessons learned through research and implementation experiences. A growing number of child welfare agencies are employing DR in an effort to respond more flexibly to child abuse and neglect reports and to better meet individual family needs. In these systems, families with screened-in child maltreatment reports may receive either a traditional investigation or an alternative assessment response, depending on the type of allegation and other considerations.
Domestic Violence and the Child Welfare System
Discusses the extent of the overlap between domestic violence and child welfare, some of the effects of domestic violence on child witnesses, and the trend toward a more collaborative, communitywide response to the issue. It also features promising practices from States and local communities.
Parental Substance Use and the Child Welfare System
Provides child welfare workers and related professionals with information on the intersection between substance use disorders and child maltreatment and describes strategies for prevention, intervention, and treatment, including examples of effective programs and practices. The bulletin also discusses the impact of parental substance use on children, child welfare laws related to parental substance use, service delivery challenges, systems change and collaboration, and innovative prevention and treatment approaches.
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Alternatives for Families: A Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (AF-CBT)
Describes the characteristics and benefits of AF-CBT, an evidence-supported intervention that targets (1) diverse individual child and caregiver characteristics related to conflict and intimidation in the home and (2) the family context in which aggression or abuse may occur. It was written primarily to help child welfare caseworkers and other professionals who work with at-risk families make more informed decisions about when to refer children and their parents and caregivers to AF-CBT programs. This information also may help parents, foster parents, and other caregivers understand what they and their children can gain from AF-CBT and what to expect during treatment.
Chronic Child Neglect
Discusses what we know about chronic child neglect and reviews ways to work with families experiencing chronic neglect, including critical elements of successful casework practice, examples of what agencies are doing, and ways agencies can integrate child welfare approaches to chronic neglect with prevention and early intervention efforts. Examples of promising interventions and programs are included.
How the Child Welfare System Works
Provides an overview of the purposes and functions of child welfare systems. It explains what happens when abuse or neglect are reported, how those reports are processed, and what happens to the adults and children who are involved in the child welfare system. A flowchart illustrates how cases may move through the child welfare system.
Long-Term Consequences of Child Abuse and Neglect
Explains the long-term physical, psychological, behavioral, and societal consequences of child abuse and neglect.
Parent Education to Strengthen Families and Reduce the Risk of Maltreatment
Provides an overview of research regarding some key characteristics and training strategies of successful parent education programs for strengthening families and preventing child maltreatment. Information about selected evidence-based and evidence-informed parent education programs, including a list of registries that evaluate programs, also is provided.
Parent-Child Interaction Therapy With At-Risk Families
Describes the characteristics and benefits of parent-child interaction therapy (PCIT), a family-centered treatment approach proven effective for abused and at-risk children ages 2 to 8 and their caregivers—birth parents, adoptive parents, or foster or kin caregivers. It was written primarily to help child welfare caseworkers and other professionals who work with at-risk families make more informed decisions about when to refer parents and caregivers, along with their children, to PCIT programs. This information may also help parents, foster parents, and other caregivers understand what they and their children can gain from PCIT and what to expect during treatment.
Parenting a Child Who Has Been Sexually Abused: A Guide for Foster and Adoptive Parents
Discusses how foster and adoptive parents can help children and adolescents who have experienced sexual abuse. It provides basic information about sexual abuse and links to other information so that parents can educate themselves about the topic. The factsheet suggests ways to establish guidelines for safety and privacy in the family, and it offers suggestions about when to seek professional help and where to find such help.
Parenting a Child Who Has Experienced Abuse or Neglect
Intended to help parents (birth, foster, and adoptive) and other caregivers better understand the challenges of caring for a child who has experienced maltreatment and learn about the resources available for support.
Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect
Provides information on how communities and individual citizens can strengthen families, protect children, and prevent child abuse and neglect.
What Is Child Abuse and Neglect? Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms
Outlines the legal definition of child abuse and neglect, the different types of abuse and neglect, and the signs and symptoms of abuse and neglect. Resources about the impact of trauma on well-being also are included in this factsheet.
What Is Child Welfare? A Guide for Health-Care Professionals
Provides health-care professionals—including pediatricians, family practice providers, hospital nurses, school nurses, urgent care clinicians, and other health-care professionals—with an overview of the field of child welfare and suggests ways that health-care professionals and child welfare workers can work together to promote better outcomes for children and families involved with child welfare, including children in foster care. Links to resources are also included.
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Cross-Reporting Among Responders to Child Abuse and Neglect
Child Welfare Information Gateway
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Discusses State laws that authorize cross-reporting and information sharing among the agencies that must respond to reports of suspected child abuse or neglect. Typically, reports are shared among social services agencies, law enforcement departments, and prosecutors' offices. Summaries of laws for all States and U.S. territories are included.
The Risk and Prevention of Maltreatment of Children with Disabilities
Describes child abuse and neglect of children with disabilities in terms of the scope of the problem, risk factors, and strategies for prevention. The background section looks at statistics and research and highlights what might be happening with families that come into the child welfare system. The second section offers tips to identify and assess abuse and neglect in children with disabilities, respond collaboratively, and locate training resources.
Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Children Affected by Sexual Abuse or Trauma
Child Welfare Information Gateway
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Explores research and practice on trauma focused cognitive-behavioral therapy (TF-CBT), which is an evidence-based treatment approach shown to help children, adolescents, and their caregivers overcome trauma-related difficulties. It is designed to reduce negative emotional and behavioral responses following child sexual abuse, domestic violence, traumatic loss, and other traumatic events. The treatment?based on learning and cognitive theories?addresses distorted beliefs and attributions related to the abuse and provides a supportive environment in which children are encouraged to talk about their traumatic experience. TF-CBT also helps parents who were not abusive to cope effectively with their own emotional distress and develop skills that support their children.
What Is Child Welfare? A Guide for Educators
Provides educators--including teachers, principals, counselors, and administrators--with an overview of the field of child welfare and suggests ways that educators and child welfare workers can work together to promote better outcomes for children and families involved with child welfare, including children in foster care. Links to resources are also included.
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Child Maltreatment Prevention: Past, Present, and Future
Discusses the importance of prevention as a critical component of the nation's child protection system and examines the history of child abuse prevention, the scope of the problem today, ways in which quality programs are identified and implemented, promising prevention strategies, and issues for future prevention efforts. It outlines programs and strategies that are proving beneficial in reducing the likelihood of child maltreatment, such as public awareness efforts, parent education, home visitation, and community prevention efforts.
Supporting Brain Development in Traumatized Children and Youth
Summarizes what child welfare professionals can do to support the identification and assessment of the impact of maltreatment and trauma on brain development, including what to look for at different ages and stages of child development. The bulletin also addresses how to work effectively with children, youth, and families to support healthy brain development and how to improve services through cross-system collaboration and trauma-informed practice.
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