Working Group Report on Child Maltreatment Prevention in Community Health Centers

Effective Strategies to Support Positive Parenting in Community Health Centers

Child maltreatment is a serious but potentially preventable public health problem that victimizes way too many children in this country every year and costs billions of dollars to our society. Child maltreatment prevention is about strengthening the capacities of parents and societies to care for children’s health and well-being. Community health centers are the largest network of primary care for millions of mostly poor and underserved families; they present an excellent opportunity to reach out to them and provide preventive services addressing the multiple complex issues families face.

The Violence Prevention Office in the APA Public Interest Directorate staffed the working group. This report identifies and recommends public health strategies and interventions based on the best available science to prevent child maltreatment and to promote positive parenting practices within the context of behavioral health integration at community health centers.

Report Recommendations

  1. Promote safe, stable, nurturing relationships for children through positive parenting with the integration of behavioral health in primary care settings.

  2. Promote universal access to evidence-based, preventive, positive parenting programs at the community health centers for families from diverse socioeconomic, cultural, racial, and ethnic backgrounds.

  3. Promote interdisciplinary, inter-agency, and cross-systems collaboration to implement child maltreatment prevention at community health centers.

  4. Develop national efforts across community health centers to prevent child maltreatment.