Prevention of child abuse and neglect and of emotional and behavioural problems by early intervention in families at risk
Samenvatting van de aanvraag
The high prevalence of child abuse and its serious consequences urge for an active programme of primary prevention. In this project families with an increased risk profile are detected according to a number of well-established risk indicators. The families are randomized into an interventional group (n=240) and a control group (n=240). The interventional group will receive, through structured home visits by specially trained district nurses, a programme of intensive support with regard to upbringing, education and practical advice in the age range of 6 weeks to 18 months, in addition to regular care. The control group receives regular care only. The effects of the intervention are evaluated at the age of 12 and 24 months in various ways: suspicion of child abuse by direct observations of health personnel and by the results of the Child Abuse Potential Inventory; medical consumption; the infant's growth, physical care, development and behaviour; and the interaction between parents and infant. The final goal of the study is to collect evidence that a preventive programme of focussed support and education to families at risk leads to a situation which is less prone to child abuse and behavioural problems.