Broad Access to a System of Parenting Support Reduces Risk of Child Maltreatment
When parents have access to parenting information and support that address problems families face—from tantrums to encouraging good behavior—there are positive impacts on measures of child maltreatment, according to a study released in the January 22nd 2009 online edition of the journal Prevention Science. The U.S. Triple P System Trial, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), found lower rates of substantiated abuse cases, child out-of-home placements, and reductions in hospitalizations and emergency room visits for child injuries in nine study counties in South Carolina where parenting interventions were implemented than in counties without the intervention. The Triple P—Positive Parenting Program utilized a wide range of support mechanisms for parents including local media, brief public seminars, and parent consultation with specially trained child service providers. Researchers estimate that in an area containing 100,000 children less than eight years of age, the results found in the study could translate annually into 306 fewer cases of child maltreatment, 188 fewer out-of-home placements, and 60 fewer children with injuries requiring hospitalization or emergency room treatment.