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April 2020Vol. 21, No. 3Looking at the Research on Community-Based Child Maltreatment Prevention Programs

While many prevention programs are research informed and evidence based, others have been developed outside of prevention science and have unknown impacts. These programs are typically implemented by community members working with local partners and have been sustained through private and public funding. To learn more about such programs, the Children's Bureau launched a discretionary grant program in 2009 known as Rigorous Evaluations of Existing Child Abuse Prevention Programs (REECAP). REECAP awards were made to fund four randomized control trials of fully operational programs not previously evaluated, three of which include a home visiting component. The researchers involved in the evaluation came from a variety of fields, including social work, public health, nursing, developmental and clinical psychology, biostatistics, and prevention science.

The journal Prevention Science recently released an issue with a special section titled, "Special Section: Moving Randomized Controlled Trials Into the World of Child Maltreatment Prevention Practice: Results From the Administration for Children and Families' REECAP Initiative" that focuses on REECAP. The following articles are included in the special section:

  • "Impact of a Child Abuse Primary Prevention Strategy for New Mothers"
    Kay M. G. O'Neill, Fallon Cluxton-Keller, & Lori Burrell
  • "Effects of Home Visiting Program Implementation on Preventive Health Care Access and Utilization: Results From a Randomized Trial of Healthy Families Oregon"
    Beth Green, Mary Beth Sanders, & Jerod M. Tarte
  • "A Randomized Controlled Trial of Healthy Families: 6-Month and 1-Year Follow-Up"
    Craig Winston LeCroy & Darlene Lopez
  • "Randomized Controlled Trial of the Promoting First Relationships Preventive Intervention for Primary Caregivers and Toddlers in an American Indian Community"
    Cathryn Booth-LaForce, Monica L. Oxford, & Celestina Barbosa-Leiker
  • "Family Support and Connection Groups: Long-Term Benefits for Inner-City Children?"
    Patrick Tolan, Michael Schoeny, Deborah Gorman-Smith, & David Henry
  • "Sociodemographic and Psychosocial Predictors of VIP Attendance in Smart Beginnings Through 6 Months: Effectively Targeting At-Risk Mothers in Early Visits"
    Elizabeth B. Miller, Caitlin F. Canfield, & Pamela A. Morris
  • "Controlling Gun Violence: Assessing the Impact of Australia's Gun Buyback Program Using a Synthetic Control Group Experiment"
    Bradley J. Bartos, Richard McCleary, & Lorraine Mazerolle
  • "Has Cannabis Use Among Youth Increased After Changes in Its Legal Status? A Commentary on Use of Monitoring the Future for Analyses of Changes in State Cannabis Laws"
    Greg Midgette & Peter Reuter