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April 2003Vol. 4, No. 3Baltimore's Family Connections Program Proven to Prevent Child Maltreatment

In a recent publication, Family Connections in Baltimore, Maryland, was designated by the Children's Bureau as the only nominated child maltreatment prevention program proven effective by a rigorous evaluation. Family Connections promotes the safety and well-being of children and families by identifying and developing formal and informal supports to address each family's individual needs and build upon their strengths.

Evaluation results showed that children in 90 percent of the at-risk families served in 2000/2001 were safe from the suspicion of abuse or neglect. Other outcomes included:

  • A decrease in risk factors, and increase in protective factors, for neglect
  • An increase in appropriate parenting attitudes among caregivers
  • An increase in caregiver satisfaction with parenting
  • An increase in social support for caregivers
  • A decrease in depressive symptoms among caregivers
  • A decrease in caregiver drug use
  • A decrease in caregiver stress
  • A decrease in child behavior problems

Family Connections targets families with children between the ages of 5 and 11 who are considered to be at risk for child abuse and neglect but have no current CPS involvement. Staff members work with families on problem-solving, positive discipline methods, coping strategies, developing social supports and community connections, and opportunities for positive family interactions through community activities.

For more information about this program, contact:
University of Maryland School of Social Work
525 West Redwood Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
Phone: (410) 706-3609
Fax: (410) 706-6046
Email: (Diane DePanfilis, Ph.D., MSW)

Related Item

Read more about proven and innovative practices in child maltreatment prevention, in "Emerging Practices in the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect" in this issue of Children's Bureau Express.