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Child Abuse and Neglect

Victims of child abuse

This page features all PPN content on the topic of child abuse and neglect, including program summaries, issue briefs, expert perspectives, and additional resources and tools that provide evidence-based information on what works for children and families.


Programs that Work
PPN Issue Brief
Expert Perspectives
Additional Resources


The Promising Practices Network provides summaries of several Programs that Work that have been rigorously evaluated and found to have a positive impact on child maltreatment prevention and treatment. We also have an Issue Brief that summarizes research-based information related to preventing child abuse and neglect. The Expert Perspectives page provides insights from child policy leaders on child protection and child abuse and neglect. The Additional Resources found below come from other credible websites that PPN has reviewed for quality and relevance, including links to databases, fact sheets, screening tools, seminal reports, and a variety of other resources that are among the best research-based materials available on physical, emotional and sexual child mistreatment.

Programs that Work

These programs aim to address or prevent child emotional, physical, or sexual abuse; child neglect; and child safety, broadly defined. This includes outcomes associated with parenting practices related to child abuse and neglect.


Proven Programs


Child-Parent Centers

Family Thriving Program

Healthy Families New York (HFNY)

Nurse Family Partnership


Promising Programs


Child Sexual Abuse Prevention: Teacher Training Workshop

Parents as Teachers

Project TRUST

Safe Child Program

Triple P Positive Parenting Program

Who Do You Tell?


Proven / Promising Programs


Family Support and Parenting Education in the Home


Other Reviewed Programs


Child FIRST

Family Check-Up

Safe Dates


PPN Issue Brief

Promising Practices for Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect

Victim of child abuse
Every year in the United States, more than one out of every hundred children are victims of substantiated child abuse and neglect. Child maltreatment burdens individuals and society in a number of different ways. First and foremost it harms the victim, and not just when maltreatment happens—it also has long-term consequences. Additionally, there are financial and other non-monetary costs at the societal level. This summary provides a concise overview of research-based information related to preventing child abuse and neglect.

Read moreRead the Issue Brief


Expert Perspectives

Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect

Victim of child abuse
On behalf of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation's Child Abuse Prevention Program, the Promising Practices Network asked six professionals knowledgeable about child abuse and neglect prevention to answer the following question: If you had $5 million to spend each year for the next five years to prevent child abuse and neglect in the United States, how would you spend it?

The authors represent a variety of backgrounds and perspectives. Each author has written a thoughtful response to the question and taken together, the set of papers offers a broad range of innovative ideas and strategies to make a significant impact on the prevention of child abuse and neglect.

Read moreRead the papers


Additional Resources

The additional resources found on this page come from other credible websites that PPN has reviewed for quality and relevance, including links to databases, fact sheets, screening tools, seminal reports, and a variety of other resources that are among the best research-based materials available on children and families.


Reports, Briefs and Other Publications

Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention: Reports from the Field and Ideas for the Future

To better inform the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation's Child Abuse Prevention Program's grant making strategies, PPN conducted a project to take the pulse of the prevention field as well as identify new, innovative methods for preventing child abuse and neglect. This working paper reports on the project and its findings.

Child Maltreatment 2006, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, 2008

The latest Child Maltreatment annual report reports statistical data from the states on reports of maltreatment, characteristics of the children involved and their perpetrators, fatalities tied to maltreatment, and services provided to prevent maltreatment or to address the consequences of maltreatment.

Child Welfare Outcomes 2002-2005: Report to Congress

Released in 2008, this report is the latest in a series of Child Welfare Outcomes Reports that are designed to inform Congress, the States, and the public about State performance on key child welfare outcomes and change in performance over time.

Federal, State, and Local Spending to Address Child Abuse and Neglect in SFY 2006

This 2008 Child Trends summarizes key findings from a survey of all 50 states and the District of Columbia regarding their child welfare expenditures in SFY 2006.

Making the Case for Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect: An Overview of Cost Effective Prevention Strategies

This report from the FRIENDS National Resource Center for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention provides and overview of a range of prevention strategies that have been found to have some evidence of being able to preventing child abuse and neglect.

Child Abuse: Prevention Programs Need Greater Emphasis

This 1999 GAO report argues that child abuse and neglect prevention services, such as home visiting, should receive a greater share of federal funding.

Starting Smart: How Early Experiences Affect Brain Development

This report provides a straightforward summary of the interactions between early brain development, childhood emotional experiences and trauma. Drawing from this research, it concludes by making a case for increased services to counter the disadvantages faced by children who experience trauma or neglect.

Violence in the Lives of Children

This data brief from Child Trends reviews data on the types of violence experienced by U.S. children, including exposure to violence through media to abuse by parents and peers. Differences by age, gender, and race/ethnicity are discussed along with priorities for filling gaps in the data that is available on this topic.

Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities: Statistics and Interventions

This 2008 brief report presents statistical information on maltreatment-related fatalities of children including who are the victims and perpetrators and how communities often respond.

Total Estimated Cost of Child Abuse and Neglect in the United States

This 2012 brief from Prevent Child Abuse America enumerates the types of costs incurred due to child abuse and neglect in the US and estimates the total to be at least $104 billion (in 2007 dollars). This number is derived from approximations to the direct costs (e.g., hospitalization, child welfare services, law enforcement) as well as indirect costs (e.g., special education, juvenile delinquency, mental health and health care) resulting from child maltreatment.

Updated Trends in Child Maltreatment, 2006

Based on National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS) data, this fact sheet presents the change in reports of neglect and sexual and physical abuse for US States from 2005-2006 and 1992-2006.

Websites

Children's Bureau

A Bureau within the Administration for Children & Families, the Children's Bureau seeks to achieve its mission of providing for the safety, permanency and well being of children through leadership, support for necessary services, and productive partnerships with States, Tribes, and communities. The Bureau administers several grant programs, monitors State child welfare services, conducts research, and provide training and technical assistance to child welfare organizations.

National Data Analysis System

This website provides access to a comprehensive collection of child welfare and related data that allows users to develop customized statistical reports on a broad range of topics.

Child Welfare Information Gateway

A service of the Children's Bureau, Administration for Children and Families, this web site provides access to print and electronic publications, websites, and online databases covering a wide range of topics including prevention, family strengthening, out-of-home care, adoption, and much more.

Adverse Childhood Experiences Study

The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study is an ongoing study on the connections between adverse childhood experiences, including child abuse and neglect, and adult physical and mental health problems, including cancer and suicide attempts. The study is a collaboration between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Kaiser Permanente.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Child Maltreatment Resources

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have compiled several conceptual and statistical fact sheets including Understanding Child Maltreatment and Child Maltreatment: Facts at a Glance.

Databases and Tools

LINKS, Child Trends

LINKS (Lifecourse Interventions to Nurture Kids Successfully) is a compendium of programs that take place outside of the school. The programs they include have been evaluated using an experimental design and have been shown to enhance child development. They include programs that have been shown to be effective in improving children's education and cognitive development, social and emotional health, life skills, physical health, behavior problems, teen pregnancy, positive citizenship, and mental health.

Emerging Practices in the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect, Department of Health and Human Services

Published as a component of the Child Abuse Prevention Initiative administered by the Office on Child Abuse and Neglect, this study identifies best practices in the field of child abuse prevention. Prevention programs were nominated for the project and reviewed by an advisory group of experts. The "Demonstrated Effective" program category meets PPN evidence criteria, and one program is summarized under this category.

National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect

This data archive provides researchers a wealth of data for secondary analysis on a range of issues related to child abuse and neglect. One dataset available from the Archive is the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS) which consists of child-specific data of all investigated reports of maltreatment to State child protective service agencies. Links to publications based on researching using the datasets are also available.