1st Edition

Preventing Child Maltreatment
Community Approaches

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ISBN 9781593859732
Published August 11, 2009 by Guilford Press
203 Pages

USD $49.00

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Book Description

Many child abuse prevention programs have targeted factors within the family, such as parenting skills. This book describes the next wave of prevention: the promotion of safer, healthier childrearing environments in entire communities. The contributors are leading authorities who illuminate how contextual factors—including poverty, chaotic neighborhoods, and lack of social supports—combine with family factors to place children at risk for maltreatment. They present a range of exemplary programs designed to strengthen communities while also helping individual parents to meet their children's needs. Real-world evaluation approaches, quality-control strategies, and policy implications are discussed in depth.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Community-Based Prevention of Child Maltreatment, Kenneth A. Dodge and Doriane Lambelet Coleman

I. The Scientific Basis for the Community Prevention of Child Maltreatment

1. The History of Science and Child Abuse Prevention: A Reciprocal Relationship, Deborah Daro

II. Community Efforts to Prevent Child Maltreatment

2. Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect with Home Visiting by Nurses, David L. Olds, John Eckenrode, Charles Henderson, Harriet Kitzman, Robert Cole, Dennis Luckey, John Holmberg, and Pilar Baca

3. Toward a Population-Based Paradigm for Parenting Intervention, Prevention of Child Maltreatment, and Promotion of Child Well-Being, Ronald J. Prinz

4. Community-Level Prevention of Child Maltreatment: The Durham Family Initiative, Kenneth A. Dodge, Robert Murphy, Karen O’Donnell, and Christina Christopoulos

5. How Strong Communities Restored My Faith in Humanity: Children Can Live in Safety, Gary B. Melton

6. The Period of PURPLE Crying: Keeping Babies Safe in North Carolina, Desmond Runyan and Adam Zolotor

III. Policy and Practice Issues

7. Quality Improvement in Child Abuse Prevention Programs, Robert T. Ammerman, Frank W. Putnam, Peter A. Margolis, and Judith B. Van Ginkel

8. Differential Response, Jane Waldfogel

9. Innovations in Child Maltreatment Prevention: Resolving the Tension between Effective Assistance and Violations of Privacy, Doriane Lambelet Coleman

10. Healing in the Place of Last Resort: The Role of the Dependency Court within Community-Based Efforts to Prevent Child Maltreatment, Cindy S. Lederman

11. Preventing Maltreatment or Promoting Positive Development—Where Should a Community Focus Its Resources?: A Policy Perspective, Michael S. Wald

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Kenneth A. Dodge, PhD, is the Pritzker Professor of Public Policy and Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke University. He is Founding and Emeritus Director of the Duke Center for Child and Family Policy. A clinical and developmental psychologist, Dr. Dodge studies early childhood development, prevention of violent behavior in the family, and public policy to improve population outcomes for communities. He is the developer of Family Connects, a population approach to improve children’s outcomes in the first year of life. The author of more than 500 highly cited scientific articles, which have been cited more than 100,000 times, Dr. Dodge has been elected into the National Academy of Medicine and is the 2019–2021 President of the Society for Research in Child Development.

Doriane Lambelet Coleman, JD, is Professor of Law at Duke University, where she teaches courses and seminars on children and the law, among other topics. Her scholarship focuses on the impact of culture on the ways in which women and children are treated in the law. Her most recent work is concerned with child maltreatment in immigrant families and the legal ethics of pediatric research.


This state-of-the-art volume brings together in one place the conceptual issues, empirical research, and policy analyses relevant to involving communities in child maltreatment prevention. The book provides an excellent overview of established prevention approaches, such as home visiting by nurses, as well as new and promising community-level interventions. It examines some hot topics in child welfare service delivery, including differential response and quality improvement systems, along with such thorny issues as the tension between preventing maltreatment versus promoting positive child development. An invaluable resource for practitioners, advocates, students, policymakers, and researchers interested in the best thinking about efforts to keep children safe.--Mark E. Courtney, PhD, Executive Director, Partners for Our Children; Ballmer Endowed Chair for Child Well-Being, School of Social Work, University of Washington

The most comprehensive and balanced volume on the topic to date. In addition to detailed information on several of the best-known community-wide prevention approaches, this book examines the history of prevention efforts, the limitations of traditional child protection programs, and the need for more comprehensive models. It is superb as a handbook on community prevention for experts, an introduction to the subject for students, and a source of ideas for child support professionals. Seldom does a single volume contain such breadth and depth of information about a new and developing area in social science.--Ron Haskins, PhD, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution; Senior Consultant, Annie E. Casey Foundation
Reports of child abuse have quadrupled since we passed the first national child abuse law in 1974. In this volume, an interdisciplinary group of outstanding scholars demonstrates that our lack of progress in curbing child abuse is due to not properly conceptualizing this saddest of all social problems. This brilliant and convincing work makes clear that we must move from the simplistic view that the primary cause of abuse is misbehaving or pathological parents to an ecological model in which families receive appropriate attention from community support networks.--Edward Zigler, PhD, Sterling Professor of Psychology Emeritus and Director Emeritus, Edward Zigler Center for Child Development and Social Policy, Yale University
Several outstanding programs are described in this volume, and authors include details about the programs' staff training, delivery systems, and outcome measures....The contributors to this book provide factual and motivational ammunition to help communities commit more effectively to combat maltreatment of children. They have fulfilled their purposes admirably! I suggest that public health personnel, law guardians, judges, policy makers, and medical personnel serving families with young children can become more dedicated to active and community-coordinated efforts to decrease child abuse and neglect after reading Preventing Child Maltreatment.
--PsycCRITIQUES, 6/20/2009ƒƒ
A valuable resource on this troubling problem....Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty, professionals, and policy makers.
--Choice, 2/3/2010ƒƒ
This volume will assist practitioners, advocates, and policy-makers in understanding science-based intervention.
--Virginia Child Protection Newsletter, 5/9/2010