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Prevention of Abuse, Neglect and Violence
 
After-school programs to promote child and adolescent development

What does the research indicate about out-of-school and after-school issues?

  1. There is a 33 percent increase over the past five years in the demand for breakfast programs for school-age children.
  2. An increase over the past five years in the number of reported cases of child neglect among school-age children resulting from parental absence from the home.
  3. More working mothers in the paid labor force and no new school-age child care services.
  4. Parents asking early childhood educators and babysitting program instructors to teach children home-alone skills at younger ages.
  5. Increased numbers of children locked out of home are involved in safety incidents.
  6. Increased injuries to children between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. or 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. during the workweek.
  7. Juggling work and family issues costs employers in lost time and can also cost the health care system in injuries resulting from children in self-care.

What are the characteristics of best practices for after-school programs?

Programs should have as many of these essential components as possible:

  • Clear goals and intended outcomes; assessment, monitoring and evaluation.
  • Age-appropriate and challenging content responsive to child input.
  • Opportunities for active learning processes, decision-, risk, and conflict-management.
  • Positive and safe environment with balance of structure and freedom.
  • Adequate materials and facilities, allowing both activity and quiet time.
  • Staffs who understand child development, have a sense of humor, and are flexible.
  • Staff culturally competent in race/ethnicity, gender, language and sexual identity issues.
  • Proactive outreach to diverse groups of children and adolescents.
  • Willingness to work with other community resources.
  • Parent involvement.
  • Willingness to evaluate and continually improve.

What are the components of exemplary programs?

The National School-Age Care Alliance has established standards that serve as the accreditation criteria for school-age programs:

  • Strong management and solid organization structure.
  • Quality school-staffing with ratios of 1:15 for children under 6.
  • Developmentally appropriate activities and physical activities and sports offered in a balanced daily schedule.
  • Trained staff with continual training based on assessed needs.
  • Effective partnerships with community-based organizations to create a shared vision for all children.
  • Strong involvement with families with program services that attend to the needs of working families: a) accommodating family schedules; b) making school-age care affordable; c) tending to transportation.
  • Coordinate learning by connecting the after-school curriculum with the regular school day.
  • Creating and maintaining effective communication and meaningful work relationships and coordinating the use of facilities and resources.
  • Linkages between school-day and school-age personnel.
  • On-going evaluation of program progress and effectiveness.
  • Meeting nutritional needs with healthy snacks and meals when appropriate.

In addition programs must:

Create supportive environments

  • Develop affordable, accessible programs.
  • Consider transportation to recreation facilities after school.
  • Use libraries for after-school and homework clubs.

Public education

  • Promote the importance of pre-school and school-age care for safety and prevention of violence.
  • Supervision of school-age children should be included as health prevention issue.
  • Develop intergenerational programs with seniors as resources.
  • Connect families (such as stay-at-home parents who can care for self-care children in the child's neighborhood).

Develop personal skills

  • Teach home-alone skills to children in grades 3 to 6.
  • Allow older youth to participate with adults in supervised care environments for school-age children and receive training and career skills in before- and after- school programs.
  • Designate parents in the neighborhood to whom self-care children can go for help.
  • Offer workshops to parents about communicating with children in self-care and the importance of know the location of their children.

Sources:
Datta, A.R. & deKanter, A. (1998). Family involvement in education: A national portrait. Chicago: National Opinion Research Center, University of Chicago.

Fox, J.A. & Newman, S.A. (1997). After-school crime or after-school programs: Turning into the prime time for violent juvenile crime and implications for national policy. A Report to the United States Attorney General. Washington, D.C. Fight Crime: Invest in Kids.

Gootman, J.A. (Ed.) (2000). After-school programs to promote child and adolescent development: Summary of a workshop. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.

Hunt, C. (1999). Still home alone: Developmental effects and health promotion issues for school-age children in self-care. Canada's Children, Fall, pp.26-28. Ottawa, Ontario. Child Welfare League of Canada.

National Governors Association (2000). Expand learning: Make every minute meaningful: Extra learning opportunities in the states: Results of a 1999 survey. Washington, D.C.: Author.

Quinn, J. (1999). Where need meets opportunity: Youth development programs for early teens: When school is out. The Future of Children, 9.

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Analyses of State of Florida curriculum training models

Florida Department of Children and Families. Child Caregiver Training Program

Strengths

The model incorporates the following:

  1. Identifying child abuse and neglect.
  2. Reporting child abuse and neglect.
    • The training program gives clear and concise directives regarding the identification and reporting of child abuse or neglect.
    • Identification of abuse and neglect addressed physical and behavioral indicators.
    • Abuse means physical abuse and neglect, sexual abuse and emotional neglect and failure to thrive.
    • Other forms were absent such as fictitious illness.
    • Incorporates psychosocial aspects of child abuse and neglect as they relate to the perpetrator.
    • Personal and environmental factors of abusive parents were presented in a clear and sensitive manner.

Limitations

The training was limited in the following:

  • Lack of information on the interdisciplinary aspects involved in child abuse and neglect.
  • Lack of information of evidence-based practices.
  • Relationships among the various disciplines involved in child abuse and neglect is absent.
  • Caregivers may be left without an understanding of how their role integrates into an interdisciplinary team effort.
  • The current format of training presents few opportunities for interaction and communication among professionals who are mandated reporters of child abuse or other professionals who provide services to families facing this problem.

Recommendations

  • Curriculum needs to incorporate information on the interdisciplinary team approach to addressing complex problem such as child abuse and neglect as recommended in the literature.
  • The relationship between family violence and child abuse needs to be strengthened.
  • Complex problems such as child abuse and neglect cannot be fully addressed by any one discipline; therefore, an interdisciplinary approach is needed.
  • Training regarding this problem would be more effective and comprehensive by including members from a variety of disciplines.


Florida Department of Children and Families Decision-making for Child Safety Preservice Training for Family Safety

Strengths

The training incorporates:

  1. Identification of Child Abuse Hotline procedures and reporting requirements.
  2. Reviews an actual child abuse report..
  3. Uses the Allegation Matrix to verify maltreatment and complete a child safety assessment.
  4. Identifies investigative tasks before, during and after the initial contact of the family.

Limitations

  • Training fails to incorporate information regarding the interdisciplinary approach to child abuse and neglect.
  • The role of mandated reporters is not discussed although mandated reporting is discussed.
  • Training is conducted solely with the Florida Department of Children and Families caseworkers, which limits opportunities for interaction and communication among professionals.

Recommendations

  • Incorporate information on the interdisciplinary team approach to dealing with child abuse and neglect.
  • Incorporate best practices.
  • Training can be more effective and comprehensive by including members from a variety of disciplines.

Sources:

Florida Department of Children and Families Caregiver Training Program: Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect.

Florida Department of Children and Families Caregiver Training Program: Identifying Child Abuse and Neglect.

Florida Department of Children and Families Trainer Guide (2000). Decision-Making For Child Safety Preservice Training for Family Safety.

Florida Abuse Hotline (1999). Reporting Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of Children, Disabled Adults, and Elderly Persons: Information Packet for Professionally Mandated Reporters. Tallahassee,

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Home visiting strategies

Home Visiting Strategies

Home visiting is a strategy, with differing approaches, to support parents and improve the health and development of children. As a method of delivering services, home visiting may be informal or formal, practical and supportive, as well as flexible and cost effective. The individuality of each child and parent situation, each personal and environmental circumstance can be addressed. For some parent and child problems, a concerted outreach effort will be necessary to achieve early positive effects. If early intervention is not provided, then the effects on children become too severe or difficult to remediate. For these cases, home visit programs need to be intensive, comprehensive and integrated with the system of care.

What are the potential benefits of using home visit models?

Prenatal benefits include:

  • Increased use of prenatal care.
  • Increased birth weight of infants.
  • Decreased preterm labor and increased length in gestation.
  • Improved nutrition during pregnancy.
  • Decrease maternal smoking.
  • Greater interest by fathers in the pregnancy.

Postnatal benefits include:

  • Fewer subsequent pregnancies.
  • Increases spacing between births.
  • Increased length of maternal employment.
  • Increase rate of return to and/or retention in school by mother.
  • Fewer emergency room visits.
  • Fewer accidental injuries and poisoning resulting in a visit to physician.
  • Decrease in number of verified incidents of child abuse and neglect.
  • Less physical punishment and restriction of infants, with an increased use of appropriate discipline for older children.
  • Improved maternal-child interaction and maternal satisfaction with parenting.
  • Research indicates home visit strategies are effective and benefit parenting skills and education in these ways:
    1. Parents can gain additional information about developmentally appropriate methods of parenting.
    2. Support networks offer tangible resources in terms of childcare or financial assistance when needed.
    3. Provides a buffer against maladaptive parenting and stressful life situations.

What are the key elements of home visitation strategies?

  • Focus on families in greater need of services.
  • Intervention beginning in pregnancy and continuing through second to fifth year.
  • Flexibility and family specificity, visits and services fit needs of families.
  • Active promotion of health-related behaviors and specific qualities of infant care-giving instead of focusing solely on social support.
  • Broad multiproblem focus addresses the full complement of family needs.
  • Measures to reduce family stress by improving its social and physical environments.
  • Use of nurses and well trained paraprofessionals.
  • Home visitors as health care advocates to improve access to health care.
  • Home visitation programs integrated into community's existing health care system, expanding effectiveness of private providers, HMOs and public health nurses.
  • It is very important to recognize that home visiting efforts must "match" each mother and baby relationship so that the most helpful information is imparted and leads to averting the personal and environmental circumstances that helps overcome adversity.

What are the identified home visit strategies?

Effective home visiting strategies are characterized by four basic elements:

  1. Health-oriented models: Health information aimed at educating individuals and families about health-related caregiving behaviors. Uses nurses or health paraprofessionals to provide information, advice, and role modeling during pregnancy and up to two years after birth of a baby.
  2. Parenting education/training models: Provides instruction by means of role-play, role modeling, feedback, interactive discussion, information, and video and printed material. Specifically aimed at teaching normative beliefs, expectations and compliance for children with moderate to significant problems of behavior conduct and childhood aggression. Effectively involves fathers in parenting when home training approaches are used. Requires a variety of well-trained professionals and paraprofessionals knowledgeable in techniques on behavioral concepts and change.
  3. Child development/educational models: Practical assistance linking to or providing formal services such as therapies, problem-solving through decision-making, crisis resolution, transportation and other home instruction approaches where a focus on the developing cognitive and social needs of children is needed. Uses a variety of professional and paraprofessionals to the family and child.
  4. Social support models: Practical, emotional and information supports are provided by one's social network. Focus is on assisting the parent by taking on childcare responsibilities, giving child care advice, sharing and encouragement in parental tasks. Material assistance and information regarding community resources guide parents in positive directions and offer additional resource information regarding their children. Fathers rely on child-rearing advice from significant figures of their social networks.

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Implementing violence reduction school-based programs

What are the program elements for violence prevention?

Major components included in existing programs aim to influence perpetrator, victim and bystander, and can be integrated to provide a health promotion model of anti-violence programming. The health promotion model assumes that health issues should be addressed through a focus on societal structure and policy rather than exclusively through focus on the individual as in the current approach to these issues. Health promotion is characterized by five action strategies: (1) building health public policy, (2) creating supportive environments, (3) strengthening community action, (4) developing personal skills, and (5) reorienting health services. The model assumes that services should be built on known risk and protective factors and should implement approaches that seek to change norms.

Key Findings:

The seven essential components of a violence-reduction, health-promotion model include:

  1. Management and Organization Change: Programs must reflect the understanding that individual change happens within a context of community (family and society), and requires participation of the whole school community and outreach to the broader community.
  2. Involving Parents and Community: Collaboration and coordination with parents and community stakeholders can promote community and parental empowerment, and provide students with more consistent environments to learn and live.
  3. Children and Youth as Partners: Partnering with children and youth is an empowerment strategy that can lead to youth-centered services.
  4. Reforms and Policy Development: Policy change provides contextual and system change essential to support personal change efforts, creating a safe and nurturing school climate that should reflect the values of parents, teachers, school administrators and students to promote ownership of programming and enhance stakeholder collaboration.
  5. Intersectoral Collaboration: The development of school and community organizations is fundamental to health promotion.
  6. Training and Program Development: Teachers, other school staff and community members engaged in program delivery must be trained how to deliver the program, how to model respect and conflict resolution skills in day-to-day occurrences of school life, and how to avoid labeling and stereotyping.
  7. Monitoring and Evaluation: Accountability of program activities and outcomes resides with all coalition partners.

There are four major elements of comprehensive anti-violence programming:

  1. Instruction: Knowledge, attitudes, skill development and behaviors associated with health.
  2. School Climate: School policies and practices that support a healthy and non-violent physical and social environment, reinforcing prosocial and prohealth behaviors.
  3. Support Services: School-community collaboration that ensures the use of common language and objectives across agencies and community contexts, and supports services targeted toward children already exhibiting aggressive, violent or other problem behavior identified by the school.
  4. Social Support: Programs using role models, mentors and family support, usually voluntary and external to the school, and based on the premise that building competence through positive relationships will help in buffer risk factors.

Source:

Thurston, W.E., Meadows, L., Tutty, L.M., & Bradshaw, C. (1999). A violence reduction health promotion model. Calgary, Alberta, Canada: University of Calgary, Department of Family Medicine.

This report summarizes 60 school-based prevention projects and the lessons learned from the programs.

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Interdisciplinary training studies of child abuse reporting

Citation

Gilgun, F. (1988). Decision-making in interdisciplinary treatment teams. Child Abuse and Neglect, 12, pp. 231-239.

Summary

  • Interdisciplinary treatment teams provide a clear advantage over practitioners working alone.
  • The treatment team of the Central Minnesota Incest Treatment Team makes its decisions using procedures analogous to procedures used in social research to establish reliability and validity. This statement is based on the finding that the decision-making process of the treatment team was characterized by multiple observations of family members by multiple observers in multiple settings over time.


Citation

Zuravin, S.J., & Watson, B. (1987). Anonymous reports of child physical abuse: Are they as serious as reports from other sources? Child Abuse and Neglect, 11, pp. 521-529.

Summary

Abstract.
Anonymous reports of child physical abuse were compared to reports made by professionals and by nonprofessionals on three characteristics: Substantiation rate, seriousness of substantiated incidents and severity of allegations.

Findings

  • Reports made by anonymous sources are more likely to be unfounded than reports made by the other sources.
  • Substantiated anonymous reports were of equal seriousness as reports from the other sources.


Citation

Rindfleish, N., & Bean, G. J. (1988). Willingness to report abuse and neglect in residential facilities. Child Abuse and Neglect, 12, pp. 509-520.

Summary

Findings

  • Physical and sexual events of maltreatment led to increased willingness to report.
  • Other types of maltreatment such as restraint/control, moral behavior of staff, emotional abuse and failure to provide necessities led to lowered levels of willingness to report.
  • Being a resident of an institution was positively correlated to willingness to report while being an administrator was negatively related to this variable.


Citation

Zellman, G. L. (1990). Report decision-making patterns among mandated child abuse reporters. Child Abuse and Neglect, 14, pp. 325-336.

Summary

Abstract.
Data form a national survey of 1,196 mandated reporters about their child abuse reporting behavior. The respondents were family/general practitioners, pediatricians, child psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, social workers, public school principals and child care providers.

Findings

  • The data indicated that respondents were fairly willing to report abuse and to be guided by legal mandates.
  • Perceived seriousness and application of the abuse label increase perceptions of reportability and the likelihood of a report in specific instances.
  • Judgments about the benefit of a report for a child and for the family also influence reporting decisions.


Citation

Kalichman. S. C., Craig, M. E., & Follingstad, D. R. (1990). Professionals' adherence to mandatory child abuse reporting laws: Effects of responsibility attribution, confidence ratings, and situational factors. Child Abuse and Neglect, 14, pp. 69-77.

Summary

Abstract.
This study investigated the relationship between responsibility attribution and tendency to report child sexual abuse among practicing psychologists. Previous research indicated that mental health professionals hold abusive fathers highly responsible and abused daughters minimally responsible for father-daughter sexual abuse.

Findings

  • The study failed to find a relationship between responsibility attribution and reporting in suspected cases of child abuse.


Citation

Ashton, V. (1999). Worker judgments of seriousness about and reporting of suspected child maltreatment. Child Abuse and Neglect, 23, pp. 539-548.

Summary

Findings

  • Results suggest that beginning human service workers are unsure of their legal responsibility to report suspected maltreatment.
  • There is a need for closer collaboration between mandated reporters and child protective services.


Citation

Grossoehme, D. H. (1998). Child abuse reporting clergy perceptions. Child Abuse and Neglect, 22, pp. 743-747.

Summary

Findings

  • Educate clergy about child abuse and neglect.
  • A significant number of clergy have no education about child abuse and neglect.
  • There is under-reporting of child abuse when known by clergy.
  • Lack of trust among some clergy and children's services.
  • Increase contact and dialogue between clergy and children's services.


Citation

Van Haerigen, A. R., Dadds, M., Armstrong, K. L. (1998). The child abuse lottery: Will the doctor suspect and report? Physicians' attitudes toward and reporting of suspected child abuse and neglect. Child Abuse and Neglect, 22, pp. 159-169.

Summary

Abstract.
Assess the responsiveness and attitudes of medical practitioners to the reporting of suspected child abuse or neglect. To determine whether characteristics of the medical practitioner (specialist or generalist, rural- or urban-based, age since graduation, gender, having children of their own) influenced the responsiveness to reporting.

Findings

  • Forty-three percent of all doctors in the study (N=224) had at some stage considered a case as suspected child abuse or neglect and decided not to report despite a legal mandate to do so.
  • Educate doctors and medical practitioners regarding symptoms and signs of physical abuse and their role in reporting and collaborating in the multidisciplinary management of child abuse.


Citation

Nightingale, N. N., Walker, E. F. (1986). Identification and reporting of child maltreatment by Head Start personnel: Attitudes and experiences. Child Abuse and Neglect, 10, pp. 191-199.

Summary

Findings

  • Training is needed in child maltreatment for increasing the identification and reporting of maltreatment by child care workers.
  • Although neglect was most frequently identified by child care workers, it was the least likely to be reported.


Citation

Steinberg, A. M., Pynoos, R. S., Goenjian, A. K., Sossanabadi, H., & Sherr, L. (1999). Are researchers bound by child abuse reporting laws? Child Abuse and Neglect, 23, pp. 771-777.

Summary

Abstract.

  • Existing child abuse laws do not specifically designate researchers as among the category of individuals mandated to report suspected child abuse.
  • Human Subject Protection Committees and federal funding agencies tend to interpret reporting laws as applying to researchers, including requiring that research participants are informed of this responsibility in consenting procedures.
  • It is unclear whether the Certificate of Confidentiality preempts child abuse reporting laws.


Citation

O'Toole, R., Webster, S. W., O'Toole, A. W., & Lucal, B. (1999). Teachers' recognition and reporting of child abuse: A factorial survey. Child Abuse and Neglect, 23, pp. 1083-1101.

Summary

Findings

  • Teachers responses to child abuse are relatively unbiased by either the characteristics of the perpetrator or victim, the responding teacher or the school setting.
  • Teachers "underreport" child maltreatment particularly in cases involving physical and emotional abuse.
  • Teachers are undeterred by the many problems and fears that may accompany a report of child abuse to Child Protective Services.
  • Teachers use discretion in reporting abuse they recognize.


Citation

McDevitt, S. (1996). The impact of news media on child abuse reporting. Child Abuse and Neglect, 20, pp. 261-274.

Summary

Findings

  • Child maltreatment reports and news coverage has increased.
  • Rather than media stories increasing prior to increases in mandated reports and therefore contributing to the rise in reporting cases, they appeared to increase at the same time.
  • Increases may be national policy changes.
  • Recent increases in child abuse reports may be due to economic downturn and other widespread societal changes rather than media attention.


Citation

Johnson, C. F. (1993). Physicians and medical neglect: Variables that affect reporting. Child Abuse and Neglect, 17, pp. 605-612.

Summary

Findings

  • Caretakers were less likely to be considered neglectful if symptoms were minor, not obvious or required technical sophistication for recognition.
  • The natural course of the disease process, efficacy and safety of treatment, parents' religion, intellectual level, and economic situation affected neglect reporting propensity.
  • Definitions of medical neglect for common diseases must be standardized.
  • Training of caretakers of ill children and communication of clear and reasonable expectations are necessary to help prevent medical neglect.


Citation

Zellman, G. L., & Faller, K. C. (1996). In John Briere, Lucy Berliner, Josephine A. Bulkley, Carole Jenny & Theresa Reid, The Handbook on Child Maltreatment. (pp. 359-381).Thousand Oaks : Sage.

Summary

Abstract.
Professionals in 15 states were surveyed regarding their reporting behavior and the nature of their professional work. The sample included 1,196 general and family practitioners, pediatricians, child psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, social workers, public school principals, and heads of child care centers who responded to the survey (59% response rate).

Findings

  • 77% of the respondents made a report at some time in their professional career.
  • 92% of elementary school principals had reported at some time.
  • Rates for ever-reporting were nearly as high for child psychiatrists (90%) and pediatricians (89%).
  • Rates for secondary school principals, social workers, and clinical psychologists were 84%, 70% and 63% respectively.
  • Child psychiatrists were rated most likely to have failed to report (58%) and child care providers and pediatricians least likely to have done so (24% and 30% respectively).
  • Consistent reporting: 44% of respondents indicated that they had reported at some time and never failed to do so when they suspected maltreatment.
  • Reasons for making reports: 92% indicated stopping maltreatment was important reason; 89% indicated that getting help for the family was important.
  • Differences across professions revealed that family/general practitioners were less influenced by the reporting mandate and workplace reporting policy as an important motivator.
  • Child psychiatrists and psychologists were less likely to believe a report would help the child or family, or help the family see the seriousness of the problem.
  • Respondents were significantly more likely to report in cases of serious physical injuries or intercourse when the child was young rather than an adolescent, and when there was a history of previous maltreatment.
  • The most frequently endorsed reason for failing to report was a lack of sufficient evidence that maltreatment had occurred. Continuous education of mandated reporters must occur.


Citation

Briar-Lawson, K., & Harris, N. (1998). Marisol A. v. Guiliani. Case reviews of individual children. Expert testimony and court documents.

Summary

Abstract.
An in-depth examination of five cases of child maltreatment to assess quality of practice by CPS staff, investigations and safety/risk assessment, case planning and case management, provision of services and safety and stability of placement and assessment of systemic agency deficits in New York child welfare system.

Key Findings
Problems occurred of a serious magnitude with children in care due to numerous problems identified that are all preventable.

Casework problems include:

  • Failure to conduct proper safety risk assessment.
  • Inadequate investigatory practices.
  • Failure to engage in proper case planning.
  • Failure to provide services.
  • Failure to provide stable appropriate foster care placements.

Systemic Issues

  • Workers lack basic skills, knowledge and supports for their jobs.
  • Failure to consider child outcomes.

Recommendations

  • Practice and training must be tied to best practices.
  • Vulnerable children and families must have the best trained workers and most effective services.
  • Children come in the system already injured and scarred, and the system must be held to highest standards of safety and protection through sound standards of casework practice.

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Inventory of training curriculum for Miami-Dade mandatory reporters of child abuse


Organization

Professional Development Center
Florida International University
Biscayne Bay Campus
Debra Sandler, Director
305-919-4585

Target Audience

Department of Children and Families and its contracted providers

Length and Frequency of Training

Decision-Making for Child Safety Pre-service Curriculum.
Phase I: 6 weeks (40 hours per week).
Phase II: 9 months (40 hours per week).

Content of Training

  • Phase I: Case initiation and initial safety assessment, case planning, decision making for child safety, documentation, interviewing I and I,
  • Phase II : Concurrent case planning, domestic violence, neglect, physical abuse, child sexual abuse, and substance abuse.

Interdisciplinary focus (yes/no)
If yes, who are participants?
Cost of Training
Number Trained in Last Year

  • No interdisciplinary focus.
  • Costs unknown.
  • Number trained unknown.


Organization

Jackson Memorial Hospital
Mercy Rodriguez
Educational Coordinator
305-585-7447

Dr. A. Chonin
Coordinator for Orientation
305-585-4636

Mercy Yeroaguayo
Training Coordinator
305-585-6366

Leslie Shore
Training Coordinator for Physicians
305-585-7996

Target Audience

All clinical staff except doctors

Length and Frequency of Training

  • New employee orientation: 30-45 minutes.
  • Yearly update class for all clinical employees.
  • Abuse across the life span: 7 hours.
  • Issues of domestic violence.

Content of Training

Child abuse policies and procedures. Contact persons. Resources available in hospital, e.g., rape treatment.

Interdisciplinary focus (yes/no)
If yes, who are participants?
Cost of Training
Number Trained in Last Year

  • Yes. Training includes all clinical staff, e.g., social workers, nursing staff.
  • Does not include doctors.
  • Did not disclose costs.
  • Number trained unknown. No doctors trained.


Organization

Miami-Dade County Public School Board
Sally Myers
305-995-7338

Target Audience

Teachers and school personnel

Length and Frequency of Training

  • Annual training offered.
  • Length of time varies as training is conducted in a staff meeting.
  • Training is mandatory.
  • Special programs given to participating schools such as: "My Very Own Book About Me" and "Safe Child".
  • Participating schools send a representative to be trained; then the representative trains the teachers. The teacher delivers this material in t he classroom to the students.
  • This type of training is part of the competency-based curriculum for health.

Content of Training

Review of the child abuse reporting procedure.

Interdisciplinary focus (yes/no)
If yes, who are participants?
Cost of Training
Number Trained in Last Year

  • No interdisciplinary focus.
  • Costs unknown.
  • All teachers who attend the meeting receive training; others do not.


Organization

Metro-Dade Police Department
Ms. Barnes
Domestic Crimes Bureau
305-418-7310

Target Audience

All Metro-Dade officers

Length and Frequency of Training

  • Roll call training.
  • Yearly updates provided.
  • Also done by request of officers.
  • About 30 minutes.

Content of Training

  • Changes in the statutes regarding child abuse.
  • Information regarding the statute.
  • New detectives in the Domestic Crimes Bureau are trained by other officers in the unit.
  • Many officers receive no training.
  • Only trained officers are responsible to investigate child abuse reports.
  • Trained officers provide training to other officers outside of their unit.

Interdisciplinary focus (yes/no)
If yes, who are participants?
Cost of Training
Number Trained in Last Year

  • No interdisciplinary focus.
  • Costs unknown.
  • Number trained unknown.
  • Last training conducted a year ago.
  • Upcoming training planned.


Organization and contact person

Barry University
School of Social Work
305-899-3000

Dr. William Buffum.
Associate Dean
305-899-3926

Target Audience

Social work students enrolled in Barry School of Social Work.

Course Number

  • Foundation Practice Courses SW 521,SW 524 Note: These courses are mandatory for all social work students.
  • Family and Children Concentration SW 640.
  • This course is mandatory for all students in the Family and Children concentration.

Course Content

Laws and reporting requirements.

Interdisciplinary focus (yes/no)
If yes, who are participants?
Cost of Training
Number Trained in Last Year

  • No interdisciplinary training.
  • Costs not disclosed.
  • Number of persons trained not disclosed.


Organization and contact person

Florida International University
School of Social Work
Dr. Van Den Bergh, MSW Program Coordinator
305-348-5880

Target Audience

Students enrolled in the School of Social Work

Course Number

  • Undergraduate level: Child Welfare Policy and Services-SOW 4654.
  • Family Violence -SOW 4932.
  • Graduate level: Crises in the Lives of Women - SOW 5109 Child Maltreatment SOW 5932 assessment and treatment
    (14 weeks, 3 hours per week).

Course Content

  • Laws and reporting requirements.
  • Policy.
  • Graduate - assessment and interventions.

Interdisciplinary focus (yes/no)
If yes, who are participants?
Cost of Training
Number Trained in Last Year

  • No interdisciplinary training.
  • Costs not disclosed.
  • Number of persons trained not disclosed.


Organization and contact person

FIU School of Nursing
Paula Delpech
Assistant Director for Admissions
305-919-5488

Target Audience

Students enrolled in the School of Nursing

Course Number

Not known

Course Content

  • Child abuse and neglect Information is integrated into the foundation classes, which are mandatory.
  • Students in the pediatrics track also receive child abuse and neglect training. Course numbers unknown.

Interdisciplinary focus (yes/no)
If yes, who are participants?
Cost of Training
Number Trained in Last Year

  • Unsure if an interdisciplinary focus is taught.
  • Costs unknown.
  • Number of persons trained unknown.


Organization and contact person

Florida International: School of Education
Special Education Department
Dr. Cohen
305-348-6668

Target Audience

Special education teachers only

Course Number

EX 4936: Student Teaching Seminar in Special Education.

Course Content

Course taught in the spring semester. Weekly for two hours and 40 minutes. Covers child abuse laws and reporting procedures as well as identification of suspected cases of child abuse and neglect.

Interdisciplinary focus (yes/no)
If yes, who are participants?
Cost of Training
Number Trained in Last Year

  • No interdisciplinary focus.
  • Number of persons trained unknown.
  • Cost of course unknown.


Organization

Department of Children and Families
Josie Maymi

Target Audience

Child care personnel

Length and Frequency of Training

  • Child abuse - four hours.
  • Identification- two hours.
    (part of mandated 20 hours of training).

Content of Training

  • Identify terms associated with abuse and neglect.
  • Identify common physical and behavioral indicators of abuse and neglect.
  • Explain causes and risk factors of child abuse and neglect.
  • Identify impacts and effects of child abuse and neglect.
  • Explain role of caregiver in reporting child abuse and neglect.
  • Explain legal responsibility according to Florida law of child care workers in reporting suspected child abuse or neglect.
  • Identify ways to avoid becoming at risk of abusing children.
  • Identify local community resources help the abused and abuser.

Interdisciplinary focus (yes/no)
If yes, who are participants?
Cost of Training
Number Trained in Last Year

  • No interdisciplinary focus.
  • Cost is $35.
  • About 1200 persons trained in past year.

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Prevention of violence in early childhood

Prevention of Violence in Early Childhood

Violence is a public health issue because of its negative and harmful effects.

The Children's Defense Fund reports that every day in America:

  • 10 children are murdered.
  • 16 die from guns.
  • 316 are arrested for crimes of violence.
  • 8,042 are reported abused or neglected.
  • An average of more than three children die each day as a result of child abuse or neglect; of these 78% are under 5 years old at the time of their death, and 38% are a year of age or less.

The following initiatives combat violence:

  1. Healthy People 2000 identifies violence prevention as a national health priority.
  2. The National Education Goals call for safe and drug-free schools.
  3. The American Academy of Pediatrics' Health Status Goals call for a reduction in domestic, community, media, and entertainment violence.

How does witnessing violence affect children?

Three areas: (1) the early years of development, (2) psychological effects, and (3) violence and learning.

Witnessing and experiencing violence affects children's development that can last through adulthood. Maltreatment and violence affects brain development. Researchers identify that the brain becomes rewired, changing in both structure and function. These changes foster such problems as aggression, poor emotional control, memory and attention impairment, and other lifelong changes. Boys who suffered neglect and sexually abused girls were most affected. The results can be potentially serious mood and mental health problems. Aggression and self-destructive behavior also were present. Also witnessing violence can affect:

  • A child's ability to trust adults to keep him/her safe.
  • A child's ability to learn.
  • A child's social and emotional development.
  • A child's ability to manage anger.
  • A child's ability to be a child.
  • A child's self-esteem.

What actions are necessary?

  • Act early to keep the child safe when hearing about maltreatment or domestic violence.
  • Ensure the child is in a safe and nurturing environment.
  • Quality interventions -- evidence shows that cognitive behavioral therapy positively changes the brain.
  • Pay greater attention to prevention of violence against children. We tend to look at the problem when children do the "hurting" as delinquents and not when children are being hurt.
  • Children can recover and flourish when they receive help and then view themselves as resilient.
  • Success requires competence in an area such as school or sports, and supportive adults around, even in not at home.
  • Flexible activities. Children who witness violence need a flexible curriculum and developmentally appropriate activities. It is helpful if you give them:
    • Activities that allow the teacher to be available to them.
    • Activities that are soothing and individualized.
    • Alternatives to complex activities for a child who is stressed.
    • Children need tools, strategies and facilitated opportunities to help them access the full capacity of their minds and their hearts.
    • Learning is as much as emotional as an intellectual experience.
  • Staffing policies that honor:
    • Children's need for an attachment relationship with one designated care adult.
    • Warning and explanation for staff absences or changes when possible.
    • Teachers' need for extra support.
    • A teacher's experience and expression of care toward students is key in facilitating a healthy classroom environment.

What can caregivers, parents, and teachers can do?

  • Give children consistent love and attention.
  • Ensure that children are supervised and guided.
  • Well-supervised activities teach children social skills.
  • Be consistent with rules and discipline. Children need structure for their behavior, clearly state logical consequences for not following the rules.
  • Model appropriate behaviors - children learn by example.
  • Do not hit children ; physical punishment sends the message that it is acceptable to hit others to solve problems.
  • Make sure children do not have access to firearms.
  • Try to keep children from seeing too much violence in the media.
  • Teach children ways to avoid being victims of violent acts; stress personal safety, including what to do if anyone tries to hurt them and how to call 911.
  • Take care of yourself and be connected with your community; stay involved with family, friends and neighbors.

What can directors of pre-schools and child care centers do?

  • Provide consistency in the classroom.
  • Provide predictable routines in the classroom.
  • Have a flexible curriculum and developmentally appropriate activities for children.
  • Offer parenting classes that deal with effective parenting and child development.
  • Conduct training for parents, expectant parents, those who work directly with young children.
  • Teach life skills that can include specific violence prevention skills, stress management and positive coping techniques; problem-solving; and communication.
  • Educate about Shaken Baby Syndrome.
  • Send home tip sheets or include tips in family newsletters that deal with topics related to violence prevention, including Shaken Baby Syndrome, stress management, and communication.
  • Provide a list of parenting resources and hotline numbers.
  • Teach children at an early age that violence is not an acceptable method for expressing anger, frustration, and other negative feelings.
  • Be a vigilant, positive role model.

What are some effects of family violence?

  • Battered pregnant women often deliver low birth-weight babies at great risk for developmental problems.
  • Shaken Baby Syndrome -- the shaking of an infant or child by the arms, legs, or shoulders -- can result in irreversible brain damage, blindness, cerebral palsy, hearing loss, spinal cord injury, seizures, learning disabilities, even death.
  • Violent children usually come from violent homes, where parents use violence as a means of resolving conflict and handling stress.
  • Psychological trauma occurs from witnessing violence and can affect attachment or bonding, and affect children's ability to develop positive relationships and other cognitive growth.

Sources:

American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) & American Psychological Association. (1995). Raising children to resist violence: What you can do (brochure). Elk Grove Village, Ill.: AAP. Also available: htt;://www.aap.org/family/parents/resist.html [1998, September 21].

Children's Defense Fund. (1997). Every day in America. CDF Reports, 18(2), 15. Washington, D.C.: CDF.

Early Head Start National Resource Center. [http://www.ehsnrc.org/tlviol.htm.]

Goelitz, J., & Kaiser, J. (2000). Head Smarts: Developing the Head and the Heart Through Social and Emotional Learning. Reaching Today's Youth, 4(3), 25-29.

National Association for the Education of Young Children. (1993). NAEYC position statement on violence in the lives of children. Young Children, 48(6), 80-84.

National Committee to Prevent Child Abuse. (1998, April). Child abuse and neglect statistics [Online}. Available; http://www.childabuse.org/facts97.html [1998, September 21].

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Profile of Miami-Dade mandated reporter training of abuse and neglect

Profile of Miami-Dade Mandated Reporter Training of Abuse and Neglect

  • Violence is a public health issue, not only because of the prevalence of child maltreatment in families and communities, but also because of the human and financial costs to all society of this problem.
  • As with any issues, the way in which it is conceptualized and identified has long-term consequences for solutions and outcomes.
  • Injury and death from child abuse and neglect disproportionately impacts on the health and well being of children and youth.
  • Child abuse and neglect must be addressed by the combined expertise of many professionals, organizations, family and community members, as well as lawmakers.
  • The role of mandated reporters in child abuse and neglect is clearly seen as
    1. An emphasis on prevention and early identification before violence occurs.
    2. Integral to effective child protection investigations.
    3. Essential to "community partnering" to use collective actions by multiple stakeholders and diverse disciplines for building coordinated community response in addressing child abuse and neglect.

What does the law require?

  • The State of Florida requires all child welfare and child care employees to receive at least four hours of abuse and neglect training and two hours of training focused on identification of child abuse.
  • The State of Florida has two mandated curriculums for child welfare workers and child care workers.

Duty to report child maltreatment

Chapter 39 of the Florida Statutes mandates that any person who knows, or has reasonable cause to suspect, that a child is abused, abandoned or neglected by a parent, legal custodian, caregiver or other person responsible for the child's welfare shall report immediately such knowledge or suspicion to the central abuse hotline of the Department of Children and Families.

Who is mandated to report child maltreatment?

  • Physician.
  • Osteopath.
  • Medical examiner.
  • Chiropractor.
  • Nurse.
  • Hospital personnel engaged in the admission, care, examination or treatment of children.
  • Health professional.
  • Mental health professional.
  • Practitioner who relies solely on spiritual means for healing.
  • School teacher.
  • School official or personnel.
  • Social worker.
  • Child care center worker.
  • Professional child care worker.
  • Foster care worker.
  • Residential care worker.
  • Institutional worker.
  • Law enforcement.
  • Judge.

Data Sources Used for Assessment of Training for Mandated Reporters

To examine the training content of child abuse and neglect curriculum for mandated reporters in Miami-Dade County, an inventory and list of organizations, associations, and agencies where mandated reporters work was developed. A telephone survey method obtained information between April and August 2000.

Findings from the Miami-Dade Assessment of Training Curriculum

  1. Training is inconsistent, infrequent or insufficient.
  2. The required training occurred for child welfare workers and child care personnel.
  3. No training could be identified for doctors, judges and some law enforcement groups.
  4. No interprofessional training could be identified to enhance prevention and intervention efforts.
  5. Training updates could not be identified.
  6. Some training staff reported uncertainty as to whether any training occurred and expressed concern about the quality of training, noting the mandated reporting requirements.
  7. In a similar pattern to the workplace orientation, there was inconsistent exposure to both child abuse content and reporting information at the pre-service level in college-level programs.
  8. At a minimum, training by all sources addresses the reporting law while the reporting practices are less clear and inadequately emphasized.
  9. There is no evidence of training continuity.
  10. Training was most often directed or limited to new employees.
  11. Regrettably, post-professional training, continuing education, and other forms of training for upgrading competencies and skills are absent or lacking.
  12. Some organizations reported the training for employees ranged from 30 minutes to an hour annually if changes in the law were noted.
  13. Format of training ranged from memos, to orientations for new employees, to roll call training when the employees report for work. Colleges and universities offer required courses where child abuse content is infused with other content. Specific child-abuse content is often offered in elective courses, which means that selected students are exposed to the content.
  14. The trainers reported introductory preparation but received no or limited updated resources and training on an ongoing basis.
  15. All training appears to occur in isolation from other professionals and mandated reporters.
  16. Some professionals such as police, judges and doctors could not or would not provide information related to mandated reporting and child abuse content training.

Findings from the Research Literature Regarding Mandatory Reporting and Training

  1. Evidence suggests that underreporting particularly in less serious cases involving physical and emotional abuse is a problem.
  2. While a great deal of effort has been invested in increasing reporting efforts, commensurate additional funds have not been made available to child protective service investigators and other service providers for intervention services.
  3. Child protective services appear to have responded to mandatory reporting requirements by raising the threshold used for acceptance of reports for investigation and for substantiation (Zellman & Faller, 1996). These practices affect the recognition and reporting by mandated professionals.
  4. Studies indicate generally a tendency for CPS workers to refer couples to counseling in domestic violence without addressing child maltreatment.
  5. CPS workers without training generally hold the woman responsible for stopping the violence and the safety of the children.
  6. CPS workers tend to be leery of training, interpreting it as another demand in their already overwhelming job, especially if they felt that the trainers were not familiar with the realities of CPS work.
  7. Since mandated reporting is critical to prevention and intervention efforts, then interprofessional education and collaboration is necessary and the barriers must be addressed. Research identifies these barriers to interprofessional education:
    • Defending one's own turf.
    • Tradition, status, and independence of professions.
    • Lack of room in the current curricula.
    • Lack of consent to share information across disciplines.
    • Lack of trust among professions.
    • Lack of knowledge of team dynamics and collaboration.
    • Lack of flexibility.
    • Differing conceptual orientations to people and their needs.
    • Differing value systems.
    • Differing professional ethics.
    • Salary differences among professions.
    • Lack of leadership.
    • Reluctance to change practice.
    • Conflicts regarding scheduling and availability for practitioners, teachers, faculty and students.

Recommendations for Training and Education of Mandated Reporters

  1. Greater clarification of official definitions of child abuse on recognition and reporting.
  2. Regular and repeated further training of mandated reporters. Research indicates that effective training requires repetition.
  3. Interprofessional training concerning mandated reporter role in responding to child abuse, which must include how professionals work with such core services as social service, health and criminal justice and child protective services.
  4. Greater interorgnaizational coordination response protocols with child protective services, which must include greater feedback to those who report.
  5. Improved training and reporting are futile without enhanced interventions and responses from key stakeholders.
  6. Colleges, universities and other professional associations, and institutions or programs providing pre-service education, and continuing professional education to mandated reporters must ensure curricula and training programs include identification of child abuse, neglect and violence content and the process for reporting such information.
  7. Effective reporting practices require repeated exposure to knowledge of child abuse, neglect and violence education.
  8. Pre-service education and continuing professional education must address barriers to reporting child abuse, neglect and violence.
  9. Interprofessional pre-service education and continuing interprofessional training to enhance collaboration and reporting.
  10. Training must include both child maltreatment and family violence. Research has established the association between these forms of violence.
  11. Training can accomplish attitude change with all professionals. Such training should be a regular component of CPS pre-service and in-service required content.
  12. Effective training requires a real commitment from top-level CPS administrators.
  13. Training should directly involve CPS agency personnel as trainers partnered with others.
  14. CPS agencies should partner with other agencies to ensure the protection of children and to share responsibility for their safety.

What should training for mandated reporters include?

  1. Core competencies for identifying and reporting child maltreatment.
  2. Essential elements of good interprofessional practice.
  3. Essential elements to sustain training changes must include knowledge and skills coupled with peer coaching, mentoring and other ongoing support and quality supervision.
  4. Change institutions and environments to enable greater and more effective working together for prevention and intervention partnerships.
  5. More exploration is needed to identify good curriculum at the preservice and inservice levels.
  6. Training should offer enough intensity and duration to be effective.
  7. The public should be engaged regarding the duty and obligation to report child maltreatment and violence.
  8. Create a positive and supportive interprofessional work environment for staff, particularly front-line staff.
  9. Essential training may include modules focused on both child maltreatment and family violence.

Recommendations for prevention of child and family violence.

  1. A concerted and sustained public, private and political effort is required to create a more effective approach to violence reduction.
  2. A health promotion model is recommended as the collaborative, comprehensive approach to child and family violence prevention that can be applied to any setting.
  3. A key feature of all best practices was a training curriculum involving multiple players from child welfare and domestic violence communities that led to new and important alliances.
  4. The main challenges faced by the training programs in attempting to integrate domestic violence and child abuse practice were summarized as (1) tensions between priorities on children or women and (2) characteristics of child protective services culture.

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Review of home visiting programs: A service strategy for parents and/or expectant parents in the home

Review of Home Visiting Programs:
A service strategy for parents and/or expectant parents in the home.


Nurse Home Visitation Program

FOCUS

  • Health.
  • Improve outcomes of pregnancy.
  • Promote children's health and development.
  • Strengthen families' economic self- efficiency.
  • Prevention.

KEY ELEMENTS

  • Professional staff -- Public Health.
  • Home visitation by nurses from prenatal to 2 years after birth of first child.
  • Targets low-income unmarried women.
  • Promotes improvements in women's health and development of children.
  • Helps women build supportive relationships with family members and friends.
  • Links women and family members with other needed health and human services.
  • Training is two weeks in program model, 46 hours in assessing parent-child interactions, additional training as needed.

OUTCOMES

  • Reduced child abuse and injuries.
  • Reduced rapid successive pregnancies.
  • Fewer maternal behavioral problems.
  • Fewer sexual partners.
  • Able to work, become economically self-sufficient.
  • Children by age 15 had fewer arrests, less use of alcohol and drugs.
  • Less effect on birth outcomes or children's short-term development.


Parents as Teachers

FOCUS

  • Parent education focus.
  • Empower parents to give children a good start.
  • Increase parental competence and confidence.
  • Develop home-school community partnerships.
  • Prevent and reduce child abuse.
  • Intervention model.

KEY ELEMENTS

  • Paraprofessionals and professionals with bachelor's degrees.
  • Home visitation begins prenatally and continues through third birthday.
  • Low income, particularly teen mothers.
  • Scheduled visits focus on giving information about child development, model and involve parents in age-appropriate activities with child, respond to parental questions and concerns.
  • Group meetings for information and support networks.
  • Parents and home visitor together monitor children's progress for early detection and treatment.
  • Linkages to community services not addressed by program.
  • Training: One week of preservice, one day for 6 months, 20 hours in-service per year.

OUTCOMES

  • Increased parent knowledge was unrelated to children's improved abilities.
  • Quality of parental participation related to child's ability, especially language development.
  • Highest achieving children were from minority families with mothers with at least a high school education and no observed risks.
  • More than half of children observed at entry of program with developmental delays overcame them by age 3.
  • Families most at risk due to poverty and poor health benefited as much as a lower risk group.


Healthy Families America

FOCUS

  • Prevent child abuse and neglect.
  • Promote positive parenting.
  • Create community systems of support.
  • Assist parental care for newborns.
  • Offered to families at greater risk of serious parenting problems, including potential of abuse and neglect.
  • Model based on set of principles.
  • of: 1) participant identification and approach; 2) program content and structure, and 3) program staffing and supervision.
  • Prevention model.

KEY ELEMENTS

  • Paraprofessionals and professionals with backgrounds in child development, social work, nursing or education most have prior experience as home visitors.
  • Systematic assessment of all first-time parents in a community at time of birth or prenatally.
  • Families at greatest risk are encouraged to participate in intensive home visitation program.
  • Program fosters child growth and development, improving family functions and use of community resources.
  • Emphasis on creating community systems of support and assist in caring for newborns.
  • Frequency of visits reduced as families meet specific goals.
  • Services based on families' need may continue for up to five years.
  • Paraprofessionals and professionals with bachelor's degrees.
  • Training: Basic training in areas of cultural competency, substance abuse, reporting child abuse, domestic violence, drug-exposed infants and services in the community, thorough training in family assessment and home visitation.

OUTCOMES

  • Improved parent/child interactions and parental capacity.
  • Limited improvement in child's development.
  • Families can access and use health care services.
  • Families can resolve many personal and family problems common to single-parent families.
  • Emergence of improved maternal life-educational achievement, self-sufficiency, delayed pregnancies.


The Home Instruction Program for Pre-school Youngsters (HIPPY)

FOCUS

  • Empower parents as primary teachers of their children.
  • Promote parent involvement in school and community life.
  • Maximize children's chances for successful early school experiences.
  • Intervention model.

KEY ELEMENTS

  • Paraprofessionals recruited from same community where families were recruited.
  • Two-year home-based early education intervention model.
  • Designed to help parents with limited education to prepare 4-5 year olds for school.
  • Bimonthly visits by paraprofessionals.
  • Alternate meeting weeks in group parent meetings to introduce new activities.
  • 30 weeks of activities coincided with school year and use HIPPY storybooks and educational activities.
  • Home visitors worked directly with parents where parents took role of child, home visitor took role of parent.
  • Role playing seen as key in helping parents learn how to teach their children.
  • HIPPY work, via detailed lesson plans that focused on language, sensory and perceptual skills development as well as problem-solving.
  • Model adapted to meet changing needs of families.

OUTCOMES

  • Children in second grade who participated in HIPPY programs had better grades on school achievement, higher math scores, more appropriate behavior.
  • Parents vary widely in participation.
  • Family involvement is critical to success of HIPPY.
  • Outcomes differ based on cohorts; control and comparison groups yielded higher child outcomes in each cohort.
  • Support of families designed to recognize and respect family needs and values.


Hawaii Healthy Start

FOCUS

  • Prevent abuse and neglect.
  • Optimal child development.
  • Promote positive parenting.
  • Enhance parent-child interactions.
  • Assure a regular physician and "medical" home.
  • Reduce family stress and improve family functioning.
  • Intervention model.

KEY ELEMENTS

  • Home visitors were paraprofessionals, recruited from the community with cultural sensitivity, good parenting skills, warn and self-assured.
  • Home visitors role model problem-solving skills, effective parent-child interactions and help families link to needed services.
  • Statewide implementation.
  • Hospital-based new parents are screened on 15 indicators to determine risk factors.
  • Intensive visits at birth; level of intensity based on needs of families.
  • Individual plan for families with support services provided.
  • Service delivery included a program director who was a public health nurse, supervisors who were professionals with formal training and experience in child development, social work and nursing.

OUTCOMES

  • Better linkages with pediatric medical care.
  • Improved parenting.
  • Decreased parenting stress.
  • More use of non-violent discipline.
  • Decreased injury due to partner violence in home.
  • No overall benefits evident on child development.
  • Variation in program implementation of three state agencies had implications in level of families' involvement and possibly outcomes.
  • Recommend that home visitation program should monitor program implementation with comparison group.


Comprehensive Child Development Program

FOCUS

  • Enhance physical, social, emotional and intellectual development of children.
  • Provide support to parents and other family members.
  • Assist families in becoming economically self sufficient.
  • Intervention model.

KEY ELEMENTS

  • Paraprofessionals, those with AA degrees and other forms of post-high school education.
  • Case management and home visiting model to meet complex needs of at risk families that included education, health and social services that began with child's first year of life and continued until entrance to school.
  • Systems approach.
  • Case managers who also may serve as home visitor were responsible for accessing wide range of services for parents.
  • Home visit focused on educating parent in infant and child development and in parenting skills rather than working directly with children.
  • Families could have up to 30-minute sessions and 13 hours of parent education.
  • Training: Paraprofessionals trained in parent education curriculum model and early childhood.

OUTCOMES

  • No significant impact on economic self -sufficiency.
  • No impact on cognitive or social-emotional development.
  • Children did exhibit some gains in vocabulary development and achievement scores.
  • Increase number of mothers in labor force.
  • Some decrease in mothers who were depressed.
  • Decrease over time of percentage of families on AFDC.
  • Social programs would be more effective if they focus on direct service rather than on organization of existing services.
  • Parent curriculum delivered by case managers was in many cases not effective in enhancing children's development.

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School-based violence prevention programs for young children

Of 60 reviewed programs, examining levels of effectiveness of school-based violence prevention programs, only one program targeted pre-school children, and few targeted kindergarten or elementary school children. The great majority of violence-prevention programs are aimed at middle or high school students. Below is a brief summary of violence-prevention programs targeting children in grades K through 5 by levels of effectiveness. These programs are recommended because there is documented evidence that they reduce violence among children:

Level I Effectiveness

Level I effectiveness programs used evaluation strategies designed to demonstrate substantial evidence of effectiveness in reducing violence, using controlled experimental research design and direct measurement of violence reduction.

1. Conflict Resolution Program

  • General violence prevention program for fifth grade children.
  • 10-week conflict resolution program; a follow-up class two weeks later.
  • A trainer explores the nature of conflict, respecting differences, conflict styles, understanding feelings and resolving conflict.
  • Goals: Enhance self-esteem, influence school climate by reducing fights and arguments, provide students with conflict resolution skills development.

Cochrane, L.J. & Saroyan, A. (1997, March). Finding evidence to support violence prevention programs. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Education Research Association, Chicago, Ill.

2. Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies - PATHS Program

  • General violence prevention program for grades K through 5.
  • Units included feelings, and interpersonal cognitive problem-solving (plus some special units for special needs students) with techniques to increase generalization from classroom lesson to day-to-day experiences.
  • Implemented by classroom teachers after three days of in-service training.
  • Goals: Promote expression, understanding and regulation of emotions, improve individual adaptive capacity of currently well-functioning children, and to prevent the development of serious behavioral disorders in at-risk children.

Greenberg, M.T. & Kusche, C. (1998). Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies. Boulder, Colo.: Center for the Prevention of Violence, Institute of Behavioral Science, University of Colorado at Boulder.

3. Second Step Program

  • General violence prevention for grades 2 through 5.
  • 8 to 28 lessons provided twice a week throughout the school year.
  • Implemented by trained classroom teachers.
  • Units included empathy training, interpersonal problem-solving, behavioral skills training, and anger management.
  • Goals: Reduce impulsive and aggressive behaviors; to improve prosocial functioning and to reduce antisocial behaviors.

Bergsgaard, M. (1998). Gender issues in the implementation and evaluation of a violence-prevention curriculum. Canadian Journal of Education, 22(1), 33-45.

Grossman, D.C., Neckerman, H.J., Koepsell, T.D., Liu, P., Asher, K.N., Beland, K., Frey, K., & Rivera, F.P. (1997). Effectiveness of a violence-prevention curriculum among children in elementary school. A randomized controlled trial. Journal of the American Medical Association, 277, 1605-1611.

Leidy, M., Thomas, M., Powers, J., & Holden, M. (1998, July). Evaluating violence prevention programs in pre-school. Paper presented at the Program Evaluation and Family Violence Research: An International Conference, Durham, N.H.

Taub, J. (1998, July). Evaluation of a violence prevention program in a rural elementary school. Paper presented at the Program Evaluation and Family Violence Research: An International Conference, Durham, N.H.

Level II Effectiveness

Level II programs show moderate levels of effectiveness and used quasi-experimental research designs.

1. Families and Schools Together - FAST Program:

  • General violence program, also targeting alcohol and drug use and school dropout for children age 4 through 9.
  • 8 weekly multi-family meetings usually held at school; monthly follow-up meetings for two years.
  • Uses a trained collaborative leadership team and requires parent involvement.
  • Meetings include: shared meals, communication games, time for couples, a graduation ceremony.
  • Goals: Strengthen the bonds within and between families and community, enhance family functioning, prevent target child from experiencing school failure, prevent substance abuse by child and family, and reduce daily stress experienced by child and family.

2. Taming the Monster Within Program

  • General violence prevention for children age 6 through 12 with conduct problems related to anger management.
  • 8 weeks, 1.5 hours per week.
  • Uses two trained facilitators, with a parent workshop at outset.
  • Goals: Help children develop positive problem-solving strategies and discover healthy ways of expressing emotions, reduce behavioral problems, increase positive social interactions, self-esteem and use pro-social problem-solving strategies.

Giesbrecht, N. (1998). Taming the Monster anger management program evaluation. Calgary, Alberta: Boys and Girls Club of Calgary.

3. The trauma/grief-focused group psychotherapy module of an elementary school-based violence-prevention/intervention program

  • General violence prevention for at-risk children grades 3 through 5 who have witnessed family domestic of family abuse.
  • 10 to 12 weekly sessions include individual psychotherapy, group psychotherapy, mentorship.
  • Goals: Increase parental responsiveness, enhance social skills, provide a context for greater acceptance of child's experiences and increase affect tolerance, enhance child's social efficacy.

Murphy, L., Pynoos, R.S., & Boyd, J.C. (1997). The trauma/grief-focused group psychotherapy module of an elementary school-based violence-prevention/intervention program. J.D. Osofsky et al. (Eds.), Children in a Violent Society (pp. 223-255). New York: Guilford Press.

Level III Effectiveness

Level III programs attempt to change intermediary factors that influence violent behaviors (knowledge, attitudes, skills). The research on these programs did not measure actual reduction in violent behaviors.

1. Creating Peaceful Learning Environments Program

  • School environment prevention for grades K through 12.
  • The entire staff of participating schools conducted a needs assessment, determined interventions, provided input into evaluation methods, helped implement evaluations and disseminated outcomes.
  • Developed school codes of conduct, programs for teacher conflict resolution trainings, high school conflict resolution, peer mediation, social skills development, relationship violence-awareness, and elementary and junior high school conflict resolution, mediation, anger management, and social skills development.
  • Goals: Create, maintain and sustain a prevention focus to violence and harassment by linking families, schools and communities in prevention, and to measure success and program effectiveness.

Cameron, C.A., Dodsworth, P., Dollimore, M., Dysart, J., Fraser, W., Jones, A., Moore, R., Moxon, P., Palmer, H., Perrin, L., & Wright, J. (1998, November). Creating peaceful learning environments: Summary of major findings and recommendations. Paper presented at the Creating Peaceful Learning Environments Conference, Calgary, Alberta.

2. Early Start Absenteeism Prevention Program

  • General violence prevention for children in grades K through 3 with histories of absenteeism, tardiness or behavioral indicators.
  • Includes seven components: Early identification; academic support and effective teaching; community service in schools; family involvement and staff development; business-education partnerships; links to other programs.
  • Uses a school team approach.
  • Goals: Reduce absenteeism, build resiliency factors among youth, families and community, and engage parents and social service agencies in building early school success.

Gentile, C.L. (1998, September). Early Start Absenteeism Prevention Program. Paper presented at the International Conference on Family Violence, Singapore.

3. Peace Education Curriculums and a Second Step Program

  • General violence prevention program for children in Montessori first grade.
  • Combines principles of Montessori and the Second Step program.
  • Teaches about the interdependence of life, the natural consequences of behaviors, and a holistic perspective emphasizing global concepts.
  • Goals: Reduce violent responses to conflict.

Harris, I.M. (1995, April). Teachers' response to conflict in selected Milwaukee schools. Paper presented at The annual meeting of the American Education Research Association, San Francisco, Calif.

4. Reach Out to Schools Program

  • General violence prevention for grades K through 5.
  • 15 to 30 minutes twice a week.
  • Uses trained teachers.
  • Goals: Improve social skills, increase non-violent, pro-social behaviors, improve children's relationships and overall sense of community.

Taylor, C., Williams, L. & Laing, B. (1998, July). Assessment of Reach Out to Schools, primary prevention program. Paper presented at the Program Evaluation and Family Violence Research: An International Conference, Durham, N.H.

Level IV Effectiveness

Level IV programs are new programs not yet tested for statistical significance but deemed promising. Formative and/or process evaluations have been completed but not outcome evaluations

1. Bully-Proofing Your School Program

  • School environment violence prevention in elementary school.
  • Uses trained teachers.
  • Teaches children what bullying is, and six strategies to use when bullied by someone, four strategies to use when witnessing someone being bullied, and a repertoire of friendship-making skills.
  • Goal: Create a safer school environment by building in the school a culture that does not tolerate physical or psychological aggression.

Danis, L. & Porter, W. (1997). Bully-Proofing an Elementary School. Results after two years of intervention. Longmont, Colorado.: Sopris West.

2. No Punching Judy Program

  • General violence prevention program for grades 1 through 5.
  • Nine-week curriculum in conjunction with regular school curriculum.
  • Uses videos featuring a puppet show depicting family problems and interpersonal violence.
  • Goal: Prevent domestic violence, early intervention for children who have witnessed or experienced domestic violence.

McRae, P., & Freeman, P. (1993). No Punching Judy final evaluation report. Portland, Ore.: Tri-county Youth Services Consortium and Community Advocates.

3. Anti-Bullying Program

  • School environment violence prevention, focusing on bullying for grades K through 4.
  • Targets school, community (parents), class/peers, and the individual.
  • Uses staff training, codes of behavior, improved playground supervision.
  • Goals: Reduce bully/victim problems.

Pepler, D.J., Craig, W.M., Ziegler, S., & Charach, A. (1994). An evaluation of an anti-bullying intervention in Toronto schools. Canadian Journal of Community Mental Health, 13(2), 95-110.

4. Families and Schools Stopping Abuse - FASSA Program

  • General violence prevention for children age 5 through 12 who have witnessed and/or experienced domestic abuse, including their parents and other family members.
  • Community-based, 16-week program of group counseling and 10-week parenting program, plus in-home intensive counseling when needed.
  • Goals: Break intergenerational pattern of domestic abuse, decrease the effects of domestic abuse and enhance healthy development.

YWCA of Calgary (1998). Families and Schools Stopping Abuse (FASSA): Children's program evaluation. Calgary, Alberta: Author.

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Summary of risk and protective factors for maltreatment

Early Childhood

  • Poor infant attachment to mother.
  • Poor child health/medical disorder.
  • Developmental difficulties.
  • Premature birth or complications.
  • Difficult temperament, behavior, mood.
  • Cognitive impairment.
  • Low intellect.

Child Competencies

  • Early educational failure.
  • Negative peer role models.
  • Poor adult supervision.
  • Lack of a positive adult role model.

Family Life / Family Stress

  • Inadequate housing.
  • Inadequate material resources.
  • Prolonged economic distress.
  • High levels of conflict/violence.
  • Employment stress or unemployment.
  • Rapid & stressful life changes.
  • Threats of separation/divorce.
  • Single parent.
  • Large number of children.

Parental Disorder

  • Parent with substance abuse.
  • Parent with mental disorder.
  • Parent with antisocial behavior.

Parental Competencies

  • Poor reasoning & problem-solving skills.
  • Unrealistic expectations.
  • Poor self-regulation.
  • Low on warmth.
  • Low on nurturing skills.
  • High on criticism.
  • Distorted perception of history of care.
  • Use of harsh, inconsistent discipline.

Family Social Supports

  • Excessive reliance on others.
  • Isolation.
  • Lack of support from others.
  • Marital/relationship discord.

Parental Experiences

  • Lack of emotional closeness with child.
  • Limited positive family interactions.

Social Cultural Environment / Community

  • Inaccessible or unaffordable health and child care.
  • High levels of neighborhood crime/violence.
  • Reduced or negative neighboring interactions.
  • Social disintegration or disorganization.
  • Social intolerance or discrimination.
  • Socially impoverished community.

PROTECTIVE FACTORS

Early Childhood

  • Outgoing or easy temperament. Affectionate.
  • Positive or secure attachment to mother.
  • Developmentally competent/independence.

Child Competencies

  • Educational achievement.
  • Normal intelligence.
  • Competent social and cognitive functioning.
  • Self-efficacy/perception of competent.
  • High self-esteem.
  • Competent problem-solving skills.
  • Sense of belonging and security.
  • Gets along with both children and adults.

Family Life

  • Routines and consistency in family life.
  • Family and marital harmony.
  • Family cohesiveness.
  • Positive and caring family members.
  • Economic security.
  • Employment consistency.

Parental competencies

  • Parent available in times of stress.
  • History of good parenting.
  • Psychological well-being of parents.
  • Competencies in roles and responsibilities.
  • Satisfaction in parenting role.
  • High self-esteem.
  • Provides positive adult model.
  • Provides supervision of child.
  • Family social support.
  • Emotional closeness with family and friends.
  • Good social skills.
  • Social support network of family and friends.
  • Positive marital support.

Social Cultural Environment / Community

  • Many positive adult and peer role models.
  • Stable and cohesive neighborhood.
  • Strong informal networks of social support.
  • Accessible health, education and support services.
  • Safe community.

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Brought to you by The Early Childhood Initiative Foundation and United Way Center for Excellence in Early Education


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