Date of Paper


Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)


Social Work

First Advisor

Renee Hepperlen


Social Work


This is a qualitative study looking at the model of child maltreatment prevention programs within a large Midwest metropolitan area. The rate of child maltreatment is alarmingly high in the United States as over 40,000 children die of homicide every year due to child maltreatment (World Health Organization, 2014). Research suggests that there are many factors that can increase the likelihood of a parent maltreating their child including having a stressful home environment, family history of abusive tendencies, substance abuse, or other stressors. With aims of addressing these risk factors associated with child maltreatment, parenting support and skills programs are serving as a prevention strategy for parents at risk for child maltreatment. These programs typically target parenting behaviors, skills, and attitudes. The researcher interviewed professionals within child maltreatment prevention programs within a Midwestern metropolitan area. The researcher looked specifically at what each program targets, to who programs serve, and how each program is designed in relation to literature findings. The researcher systematically evaluated each program’s objectives and model choices through content analysis to identify major themes. The primary theme found was promoting a culture shift in regards to the attitudes and methods of how child maltreatment is addressed. Three subthemes emerged to support this overarching theme: parent empowerment, spreading the net, and providing a continuum of care. The findings highlight the successful features of child maltreatment prevention programs and gaps in how services are delivered. The findings inform professional practice strategies for those working within the child maltreatment prevention field.

Included in

Social Work Commons