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Developing an early intervention programme to prevent child maltreatment

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This paper describes the development and implementation of a programme to prevent child maltreatment in a multicultural, inner city community setting with very high rates of physical abuse and neglect. The rationale and philosophy underpinning the prevention programme is outlined. It has a unique approach, combining several features present to varying degrees in other home visiting programmes within a well-structured framework. This includes the identification of vulnerable parents during the antenatal period, the use of generic health professionals (health visitors) in identification and intervention with families, an ‘active engagement’ strategy, the development of specialist non-stigmatizing clinics for parents and the creation of a consultation service for generic workers. A variety of interventions are briefly described which are used to support vulnerable families. These include antenatal parenting workshops; baby massage; dedicated crying, sleeping and feeding clinics; and clinics to help parents manage toddler behaviour.Evaluation over the first 5 years of these clinics shows almost 75% of cases have successful outcomes. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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Keywords: child maltreatment; parenting; prevention

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Child Health, Nevill Hall Hospital, Abergavenny 2: Community Health, South London NHS Trust, Streatham Common Clinic

Publication date: 2001-03-01

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