Child maltreatment prevention: a content analysis of European national policies

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Child maltreatment is a major public health concern, which worsens inequalities and perpetuates social injustice through its far—reaching impacts on the health and development of children affected. The aim of this article was to provide a content analysis of the national policies presently used to address child maltreatment and provide an overview of prevention practices being employed in countries of the World Health Organization (WHO) European Region. Therefore, researchers conducted a content analysis of 68 national policies and action plans from 40 European states between 2000 and 2016.

The study sought to determine the rigour and completeness of policies aimed at preventing child maltreatment aiming at identifying, which policy areas still require further work to prevent child maltreatment. Despite three-quarters of countries having some form of action plan or national policy in place, many were far from comprehensive.

“Without access to adequate resources, interventions and strategies will struggle to be implemented — increasing the risk that the policy will fail,” the report concludes.

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