Child maltreatment and use of early intervention programs in Germany

Liel, Christoph/Lorenz, Simon
Child maltreatment and use of early intervention programs in Germany. Results from KiD 0-3 prevalence study on psychosocial family burdens.
International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect Prague "Kongress." 03.09.2018
Objectives: Children growing up in families facing high levels of psychosocial burden are at increased risk of child abuse and neglect or witnessing domestic violence. In Germany, where there is a paucity of population level data on risk factors and incidents of child maltreatment, a representative national prevalence study of psychosocial burdens was conducted. Method: In 2015 data were collected from 8.065 families with at least one child aged 0-3 years. A second wave including 1.014 families who agreed in further examination were conducted in 2017. Families were recruited via 300 randomly chosen paediatric practices. Preparatory work in the form of two-pilot studies and an in-depth study has been on its way since 2012. The risk inventory (self-completion) has been compiled on the basis of factors identified in the literature and existing instruments. Items on knowledge and use of early prevention and child welfare services were included too. A 5-Item measure on family violence incidents was adapted from Juvenile Victimisation Questionnaire (Finkelhor et al, 2005). Results: 5,0% reported any incidence of family violence since child birth. The prevalence rates were: child abuse 1,8%, child neglect 0,9% and domestic violence 3,0%. Data will be presented regarding to welfare receipt. 12,9% attended an early prevention program (home visits by family midwifes) and 5,4% were offered further child welfare services for child protection. Conclusions: The KiD 0-3 national prevalence study used a new approach in this area of research in Germany by recruiting families via paediatricians instead of official population registers. Socially disadvantaged families were included in the study population by this sampling strategy. Results and experiences were important for the field of studying risk epidemiology in early childhood and for the better planning of early prevention services.

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