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July/August 2004Vol. 5, No. 6Media Handbook on Child Abuse and Neglect

A resource for journalists who cover stories on child abuse, neglect, and child welfare has just been published by Child Trends. The Child Abuse and Neglect Media Handbook is a 24-page guide designed to help reporters by providing background information and context for their stories on child maltreatment, as well as resources to consult for more information. The handbook includes:

  • Background information and current statistics on child abuse and neglect
  • Resources on abuse and neglect
  • Resources on foster care
  • A roadmap to the child welfare process
  • Advocacy organizations
  • Information on legal issues, including which States allow reporters to be present in court for hearings on abuse and neglect
  • National and State information
  • Websites with general information on children's issues
  • Sources for enhancing stories
  • List of media-friendly experts.

The handbook is designed not only to provide background information for specific stories but also to promote thoughtful reporting of child maltreatment on an ongoing basis. Placing stories of child abuse and neglect in the broader contexts of poverty, unemployment, homelessness, and substance abuse may help to inform readers about the issues associated with child maltreatment.

The Child Abuse and Neglect Media Handbook was prepared by Child Trends in collaboration with contributors from two Media Roundtables organized in 2003, with support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. The handbook can be downloaded at