To prevent child maltreatment, home visiting programs are one part of a complete response
Child maltreatment is a pressing public health problem. In 2017, 3.5 million US children were reported to Child Protective Services (CPS) for maltreatment concerns. This is equivalent to 4.71% of US children annually. The cumulative prevalence is much higher. A recent study that used 2003–2014 nationwide CPS records estimated that 37.4% of US children would experience at least one maltreatment investigation by age 18 years.2 Using self-report, the 2013–2014 National Survey of Children’s Exposure to Violence provided a similar estimate: 38.1% of children aged 14 to 17 years reported at least one incidence of maltreatment during their lifetimes.
Prevention efforts offer promise in reducing maltreatment. Home visiting (HV) has been a popular prevention model, providing regular home visits by nurses, social workers, or paraprofessionals from birth (or pregnancy) to kindergarten entry. Common services include (1) training, support, and information for parenting; (2) screenings for children and parents; (3) goal-setting activities to promote education, employment, and life skills; and (4) referrals to other services and resources.
Kim H. To prevent child maltreatment, home visiting programs are one part of a complete response. Am J Public Health. 2019;109(5):653-655.PMID: 30969823. DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2019.305043.