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April 2011Vol. 12, No. 3Prevention as a Priority for State Public Health Agencies

Based on the belief that child maltreatment is a public health issue, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed a 3-year Public Health Leadership Initiative aimed at helping State public health agencies prevent child maltreatment. As part of this initiative, the CDC partnered with the Education Development Center to conduct an environmental scan of State public health agencies' involvement in child maltreatment prevention efforts. The purpose was to identify the work that agencies are conducting to enhance family resiliency, foster healthy child development, and prevent child maltreatment.

The web-based scan yielded feedback from all 50 states and the District of Columbia as submitted by State-level Maternal and Child Health and Injury and Violence Prevention program directors. Results are reported in terms of:

  • Level of agency commitment to child maltreatment prevention
  • The roles of agencies in child maltreatment prevention
  • Types of child maltreatment programs and services provided by agencies
  • The partnerships and collaborations in which agencies are engaged
  • Data collection and surveillance activities used by agencies to monitor child maltreatment prevention work
  • Evaluations of child maltreatment prevention programs and services

The results of the scan will be used to inform the development of new recommendations, tools, and resources to assist State public health agencies in the primary prevention of child maltreatment.

The full report, Findings From the 2009 Child Maltreatment Prevention Environmental Scan of State Public Health Agencies, can be accessed on the CDC website: (1.16 MB)