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Early Childhood Prevention in the United States

Elizabeth A. Steed


Child abuse and neglect is an international issue that continues to affect too many young children. This paper provides an overview of prevention of child abuse and neglect in the United States. Key challenges related to the prevention of child maltreatment in the United States are discussed, such as high caseloads and a lack of a national prevention approach. The federal agency providing prevention and intervention in the United States continues to use social workers as intervention agents who may lack training to provide effective prevention and intervention techniques and focuses services on only the most at-risk families. Four alternative types of United States prevention and intervention programs are described, including parent education, home visitation, community programs, and respite and crisis care programs. Specific evidence-based programs, such as Parent-Child Interaction Therapy and SafeCare are briefly reviewed. The paper also explores comparisons of prevention efforts in the United States to those undertaken in Germany. Finally, recommendations are provided for future efforts to decrease the incidence of child maltreatment globally.





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