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April 2021Vol. 22, No. 4Ending Child Maltreatment Through Multidisciplinary Collaboration

An article from the International Journal on Child Maltreatment: Research, Policy and Practice introduces reframing the traditional maltreatment prevention approach from one that focuses on individual professional roles to a comprehensive multidisciplinary collaboration that shares a collective responsibility.

The authors suggest that this change be spearheaded through the formation of the EndCAN Academy, a multitiered educational approach that would create the foundation needed for this collaboration by restructuring the currently siloed educational system and redefining child maltreatment as a public health concern that requires a unified approach.

Although progress has been made in utilizing multidisciplinary teams to address maltreatment and the surrounding factors, there is still room for growth in dismantling the silos around the individual professional fields. EndCAN would be positioned to provide students across disciplines with resources to help them form a comprehensive, interdisciplinary public health response to child maltreatment that would begin during their undergraduate studies and continue through their graduate and postgraduate education. To accomplish this, EndCAN would require sustained and substantial funding to ensure a broad reach across professionals as well as removing financial barriers to participation.

The article references three training programs that embody the interdisciplinary training vision of EndCAN: Child Advocacy Studies (CAST), an undergraduate minor program originating at Winona State University; the Interdisciplinary Training Program in Child Abuse and Neglect (ITP), a graduate-level training offered at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center; and and online course developed by the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children and the New York Foundling.  

Read the article, "Building Strong Children Together: Ending Child Maltreatment in Our Lifetime Through Disruption of Educational Systems and Approaches," to learn more about the EndCAN Academy proposal, educational programs, and more.