Child Maltreatment


Compiled from Emotional, Behavioral, and Mental Health Challenges in Children and Adolescents Knowledge Path

Childhelp®. Offers information about child maltreatment and about advocacy, prevention, treatment, and community outreach efforts. For help with reporting child abuse and neglect or to speak with a counselor, contact Childhelp® at 800-422-4453. The hotline is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with professional crisis counselors who, through interpreters, can provide assistance in 140 languages. The hotline offers crisis intervention, information, literature, and referrals to thousands of emergency, social service, and support resources. All calls are anonymous and confidential.

Child Welfare Information Gateway. Offers resources about child maltreatment, including definitions, signs and symptoms, statistics and prevalence, types of child abuse and neglect, risk and protective factors, the impact on individuals and society, and child fatalities. Includes resources about preventing child abuse and neglect and responding to child abuse and neglect. Some resources are available in Spanish. The gateway is a service of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Recent publications include "Trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy: Addressing the mental health of sexually abused children." (2007).

Matrix: Seclusion and Restraint. Offers program, funding, and conference information and other resources about eliminating the use of seclusion and restraint in mental health services. The matrix is an initiative of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Recent publications include "Roadmap to seclusion and restraint free mental health services for persons of all ages." (2006).

Prevent Child Abuse America. Offers program and research information and materials in English and Spanish that promote positive parenting and a community-wide approach to child abuse prevention. Also offers a teleconference series for professionals and contact information for state chapters.

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP). 2008. Reactive Attachment Disorder. Washington, DC: American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP). This fact sheet describes the causes, symptoms, and treatment for this clinical condition.

Butchart A, Harvey AP, Mian M, Furniss T. 2006. Preventing child maltreatment. A guide to taking action and generating evidence. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization (WHO). This report provides technical advice for professionals working in governments, research institutes, and nongovernmental organizations on how to measure the extent of child maltreatment and its consequences and how to design, implement, and evaluate prevention programs. The report also offers important considerations for detecting and responding to child maltreatment. The report is available in English, French, and Arabic.

Child Welfare League of America. 2004. Achieving better outcomes for children and families: Reducing restraint and seclusion. Washington, D.C.: Child Welfare League of America. This report provides background information about the Best Practices in Behavior Support and Intervention Project, outlines the project's results, details the specific interventions implemented by the project demonstration sites, summarizes promising practices to reduce restraint and seclusion, and provides direction for future research.

Exceptional Parent Magazine. 2007. Position statement on the use of restraints. Westwood, NJ: EP Global Communications, Inc. This statement declares Exceptional Parent's opposition to the use of restraint, seclusion, and aversive practices to respond to or control a child's behavior.

Frost L, Rodriguez R, Gober KJ, eds. 2006. Safe and appropriate behavioral interventions: Changing the culture of care. Austin, TX: Hogg Foundation for Mental Health. This training guide is designed to help mental health professionals explore the use of seclusion and restraint in various juvenile care settings. It presents eight scenarios in which staff must respond to a client who may need seclusion or restraint. Although many of the scenarios presented result in restraint, the scenes illustrate cues that are overlooked that could have led to de-escalation, making the restraint unnecessary.

Kutz GD. 2009. Seclusions and restraints: Selected cases of death and abuse at public and private schools and treatment centers. Washington, D.C.: Government Accountability Office (GAO). This Congressional testimony provides an overview of seclusions and restraint laws applicable to children in public and private schools, reports on allegations of student death and abuse from the use of these methods, and examines the facts and circumstances surrounding cases where a student died or suffered abuse as a result of being secluded or restrained.

Please note: The Child Death Review Process presented by the National MCH Center for Child Death Review is being revised to allow for national data tracking on preventable child deaths owing to the use of restraints. A companion training protocol is also being revised.

Also see:

For More Information

PubMed logo

Find articles on Child Maltreatment with the use of an automated PubMed search. Articles about Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy can also be found with the use of an automated PubMed search. All articles are listed chronologically with the most recent items listed first.