Skip Navigation

Strengthen the Evidence for Maternal and Child Health Programs

New: MCHbest strategies database for sample ESMs

Evidence Tools
MCHbest. NPM 7: Injury Hospitilization

MCH Best Logo mother and young girl in pajamas holding hands

Strategy. Clinic-Based Interventions to Prevent Child Maltreatment

Approach. Conduct parent education during prenatal care and/or well-child visits to reduce child maltreatment.

Return to main MCHbest page >>

Overview. Studies show that home visiting programs have a positive effect on improving parenting competence and reducing child maltreatment. 1-3

Evidence. Moderate. Parent education during prenatal care or well-child visits appears to be effective in promoting positive parenting and preventing child maltreatment. Programs based on this strategy are likely to work. This strategy has been tested more than once and results trend positive overall. Access the peer-reviewed evidence through the MCH Digital Library. (Read more about understanding evidence ratings).

Target Audience. Caregivers: individuals receiving prenatal care or attending well-child visits.

Outcome.  Lower rates of child maltreatment (e.g., fewer child protective services reports, less harsh punishment reported by parents). For detailed outcomes related to each study supporting this strategy, click on the peer-reviewed evidence link above and read the "Intervention Results" for each study.

Examples from the Field. Access descriptions of ESMs that use this strategy directly or intervention components that align with this strategy. You can use these ESMs to see how other Title V agencies are addressing the NPM. You may also want to look at evidence that supports educational programs in other NPM topic areas that can be translated to this specific topic area.

Sample ESMs.Using the approach “Conduct parent education during prenatal care and/or well-child care to reduce child maltreatment,” here are sample ESMs you can use as a model for your own measures using the Results-Based Accountability framework:

Quadrant 1:
Measuring Quantity of Effort
("What/how much did we do?")

  • Number of mothers receiving parent education to reduce maltreatment during prenatal care.
  • Number of mothers receiving parent education to reduce maltreatment during well-child visits.

Quadrant 2:
Measuring Quality of Effort
("How well did we do it?")

  • Percent of mothers receiving parent education to reduce maltreatment during prenatal care.
  • Percent of mothers receiving parent education to reduce maltreatment during well-child visits.

Quadrant 3:
Measuring Quantity of Effect
("Is anyone better off?")

  • Number of mothers receiving parent education during well-child visits who showed an increase in knowledge of positive parenting behaviors.

Quadrant 4:
Measuring Quality of Effect
("How are they better off?")

  • Percent of mothers receiving parent education during well-child visits who showed an increase in knowledge of positive parenting behaviors.

Note. ESMs become stronger as they move from measuring quantity to measuring quality (moving from Quadrants 1 and 3, respectively, to Quadrants 2 and 4) and from measuring effort to measuring effect (moving from Quadrants 1 and 2, respectively, to Quadrants 3 and 4).

Learn More. Read how to create stronger ESMs and how to measure ESM impact more meaningfully through Results-Based Accountability.


References:

1 Dubowitz H, Fiegelman S, Lane WG, Kim J. Pediatric primary care to help prevent child maltreatment: The Safe Environment for Every Kid (SEEK) Model. Pediatrics 2009; 123: 858–864.

2  Dubowitz H, Lane WG, Semiatin JN, Magder LS. The SEEK Model of pediatric primary care: Can child maltreatment be prevented in a low-risk population? Academic Pediatrics 2012; 12: 259–268.

3 Oveisi S, Ardabili HE, Dadds MR, Majdzadeh R, Mohammadkhani P, Rad JA, et al. Primary prevention of parent– child conflict and abuse in Iranian mothers: A randomized-controlled trial. Child Abuse and Neglect 2010; 34: 206–13.

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number U02MC31613, MCH Advanced Education Policy, $3.5 M. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.