• April 2019
  • Vol. 20, No. 3

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Maltreatment Prevention Strategic Plan

The incidence of child maltreatment in Iowa remains above the national rate. Victims of maltreatment and those who are exposed to household dysfunctions, such as domestic violence or substance use, have a higher risk for long-term poor physical, mental, and financial health outcomes. In an effort to reduce the incidence rate, the Iowa Department of Human Services instructed Prevent Child Abuse Iowa (PCA Iowa) to conduct a comprehensive needs assessment and develop a strategic plan for maltreatment prevention in the state. The plan includes principles for implementation and future growth as well as goals and funding notes.

The needs assessment included the input of over 900 prevention professionals, parents, and youth. From this feedback, PCA Iowa identified the following recommendations:

  • Coordinate maltreatment prevention funding sources across multiple service sectors and work collaboratively to identify common goals, services, and quality standards using the strategic plan as a starting point.
  • Reduce child maltreatment by targeting risk factors within families and making information available and accessible about services that address these risk factors.
  • Increase workforce development in cultural competence, evidence-based practices, and trauma-informed prevention and care.

These recommendations informed the strategic plan's vision and guiding principles, which include the following:

  • Impact—Prioritize prevention work that has the greatest impact on families and communities.
  • Cultural competence—Engage diverse stakeholders to plan, implement, and evaluate prevention activities and provide services that meet the social, cultural, and linguistic needs of families. 
  • Collaboration—Encourage various disciplines and providers to work together and target interventions based on the needs and risk factors identified by each community.
  • Data-informed decision-making—Use data to evaluate and improve upon prevention services.
  • Innovation—Support new and emerging prevention practices.

Organizations and other stakeholders can use this strategic plan to inform their own planning goals, activities, and implementation processes. 

Iowa Maltreatment Prevention Strategic Plan is available at http://www.pcaiowa.org/downloads/library/2017-final-cap-strategic-plan.pdf (993 KB)

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