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February 2005Vol. 6, No. 1Evidence-Based Practice and Child Maltreatment Services

Evidence-based practice (EBP) strives to bring child welfare and child maltreatment related services more in line with clinical science and with the current practices that have already been proven both safe and effective. A recent article published in Children and Youth Services Review examines EBP and its application to the field of child abuse and neglect services.

A summary is provided that contrasts traditional clinical practices and EPB. These differences are apparent in a variety of areas, including:

  • Method of achieving progress
  • Link between research and practice
  • Program evaluation
  • Location of research
  • Assumptions about outcomes

The article highlights two projects to identify EBPs for maltreated children and families and also provides a summary of selected EBP models that show promise in child abuse and neglect. These models cover six classes of services:

  • Prevention of physical abuse and neglect
  • Prevention of sexual abuse
  • Child neglect
  • Physically abusive parents and physically abused children
  • Sexual abusers, sexually abused children, and children with sexual behavior problems
  • Children in foster care

Issues in implementing EBPs in child maltreatment services are discussed in terms of barriers at various levels and suggestions for overcoming these barriers.

The full article, "Evidence-Based Treatments in Child Abuse and Neglect," appears in the November 2004 issue of Children and Youth Services Review, which can be found on the Elsevier website: