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1.
Child Abuse Negl ; 131: 105634, 2022 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1797082

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Alongside deficits in children's wellbeing, the COVID-19 pandemic has created an elevated risk for child maltreatment and challenges for child protective services worldwide. Therefore, some children might be doubly marginalized, as prior inequalities become exacerbated and new risk factors arise. OBJECTIVE: To provide initial insight into international researchers' identification of children who might have been overlooked or excluded from services during the pandemic. PARTICIPANTS AND SETTING: This study was part of an international collaboration involving researchers from Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Israel, South Africa, Uganda, the UK and the USA. Researchers from each country provided a written narrative in response to the three research questions in focus, which integrated the available data from their countries. METHOD: Three main questions were explored: 1) Who are the children that were doubly marginalized? 2) What possible mechanisms may be at the root? and 3) In what ways were children doubly marginalized? The international scholars provided information regarding the three questions. A thematic analysis was employed using the intersectional theoretical framework to highlight the impact of children's various identities. RESULTS: The analysis yielded three domains: (1) five categories of doubly marginalized children at increased risk of maltreatment, (2) mechanisms of neglect consisting of unplanned, discriminatory and inadequate actions, and (3) children were doubly marginalized through exclusion in policy and practice and the challenges faced by belonging to vulnerable groups. CONCLUSION: The COVID-19 pandemic can be used as a case study to illustrate the protection of children from maltreatment during worldwide crises. Findings generated the understanding that child protective systems worldwide must adhere to an intersectionality framework to protect all children and promote quality child protection services.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Child Abuse , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Child Abuse/prevention & control , Child Protective Services , Humans , Internationality , Pandemics/prevention & control
2.
Ital J Pediatr ; 48(1): 32, 2022 Feb 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1702856

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Emergency Departments play a pivotal role in detecting cases of child abuse. Despite the efforts made in the past decades on the need for a screening method for the early detection of abuse victims, a unique instrument shared by the international scientific community has not been made. These instruments should be able to help recognizing whether it is necessary to further investigate the child's condition. The aim of the study is to illustrate the screening indicators in use since 2010 in the Emergency Department of the Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital to early recognise the victims of abuse and the modifying process of the screening tool undertaken over the years. METHODS: We retrospectively analyzed the process that led to the editing of the indicators of child abuse in use nowadays at the Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital. We codified three clinical pathways to apply in case of suspected abuse. Furthermore, we investigated the medical records of screening-positive accesses in the Paediatric Emergency Department of the Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital from January 2008 to October 2020. RESULTS: An estimation of positive screening, regarding the type of abuse suspected, and the number of accessed in ED was made, resulting in a cohort of 956 patients. In 2010 we created a list of 14 items grouped in three clusters: anamnestic declarations or incongruences, carelessness/neglect and evident lesions at physical examination. Positivity to one of the items allows the actuation of the investigating protocol named as clinical pathway.In 2013, after three years of experience, the criteria were edited to increase specificity. The application of screening led to a median number of 82 suspected cases/year from 2013 to 2020. CONCLUSION: A screening tool is essential and productive for the early recognition of victims of abuse. An in-deep analysis of suspected cases through a standardized method, such as the clinical pathway, allowed reaching the diagnosis in a more accurate and precise manner.


Subject(s)
Child Abuse , Hospitals, Pediatric , Child , Child Abuse/diagnosis , Child Abuse/prevention & control , Emergency Service, Hospital , Humans , Mass Screening/methods , Retrospective Studies
4.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(2)2022 01 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1631384

ABSTRACT

The responsiveness of professionals working with children and families is of key importance for child maltreatment early identification. However, this might be undermined when multifaceted circumstances, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, reduce interdisciplinary educational activities. Thanks to technological developments, digital platforms seem promising in dealing with new challenges for professionals' training. We examined a digital approach to child maltreatment training through the ERICA project experience (Stopping Child Maltreatment through Pan-European Multiprofessional Training Programme). ERICA has been piloted during the pandemic in seven European centers involving interconnected sectors of professionals working with children and families. The training consisted of interactive modules embedded in a digital learning framework. Different aspects (technology, interaction, and organization) were evaluated and trainers' feedback on digital features was sought. Technical issues were the main barrier, however, these did not significantly disrupt the training. The trainers perceived reduced interaction between participants, although distinct factors were uncovered as potential favorable mediators. Based on participants' subjective experiences and perspectives, digital learning frameworks for professionals working with children and families (such as the ERICA model nested in its indispensable adaptation to an e-learning mode) can represent a novel interactive approach to empower trainers and trainees to tackle child maltreatment during critical times such as a pandemic, and as an alternative to more traditional learning frameworks.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Child Abuse , Child , Child Abuse/prevention & control , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
5.
Child Abuse Negl ; 130(Pt 1): 105431, 2022 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1559889

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted children and young people experiencing child abuse and neglect. Child Protective Services (CPS) has played an important role in supporting children and families during the COVID-19 pandemic. Few studies to-date have evaluated the impact of the pandemic on CPS caseworkers and administrators in the United States. OBJECTIVES: We conducted interviews to explore CPS caseworkers' and administrators' experiences working and serving families during the pandemic. METHODS: Participants were U.S.-based CPS caseworkers and administrators. We conducted semi-structured virtual interviews with participants and used an inductive thematic analysis approach. RESULTS: We conducted 37 interviews. Participants discussed how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way they conduct investigations and provide services to families in the CPS system. Several services were adapted to occur virtually, providing challenges and unique opportunities. Participants also described the personal barriers they faced during the pandemic, including working remotely, experiencing burnout, and challenges obtaining personal protective equipment. Finally, participants shared creative solutions they engaged in to support children and families during the COVID-19 pandemic, including expanding collaborations with other community-based organizations. DISCUSSION: This study suggests the important role that CPS has played during the pandemic and challenges individual CPS workers felt, in terms of both experiencing burnout and difficulty obtaining personalized protective equipment. Inclusion of the CPS system in emergency preparedness planning for future pandemics or natural disasters will ensure continuation of these vital services.


Subject(s)
Burnout, Professional , COVID-19 , Child Abuse , Adolescent , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Child Abuse/prevention & control , Child Protective Services , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Social Workers , United States/epidemiology
6.
Child Abuse Negl ; 123: 105384, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1509666

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 infection prevention measures have enhanced risks of abuse and neglect for children and youth. Simultaneously, they have affected the practice of child protection, especially impacting the social infrastructure on which child protection work tends to rely, as well as the ability of practitioners to meet with family members face-to-face and in their homes. OBJECTIVES: This article focuses on the ways in which infection prevention measures have shaped child protection plans in Germany, i.e. family support and counselling, which is accompanied by monitoring and scrutiny. METHODS: The article is based on a qualitative study, in which 40 semi-structured interviews were held with first-line management representatives of German Youth Welfare Agencies between July and October 2020. RESULTS: The study's results show that protection plans have either been maintained, modified or (temporarily) suspended. Several influencing factors were identified. First, the extent to which the social infrastructure relevant for child protection could be maintained, or emerging gaps be filled in a timely fashion by child and youth welfare organisations. Second, the degree of effectiveness of the working relationship between practitioners and parents under the new conditions, including practitioners' ability to resort to flexible, digital or hybrid communication methods with families proved important. Moreover, everyday practical help from Youth Welfare Agencies and family service providers could often change the parental perception of these professionals for the better, thereby strengthening the relationship between practitioners and parents. LIMITATIONS: A key limitation of the study comprises the fact that the study findings are limited to the earlier phase of the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Child Abuse , Adolescent , Child , Child Abuse/prevention & control , Family , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
7.
Bull World Health Organ ; 99(6): 414-421, 2021 Jun 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1269960

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To determine the reasons for the lack of priority given to addressing violence against children, and to identify the challenges that proponents must address to improve prioritization of this issue. METHODS: We reviewed relevant literature to identify experts to interview. We carried out a thematic analysis of the literature and interview transcripts. We iteratively developed data coding on the many characteristics of violence against children, on the framing of the issue by proponents, and on the problem of governance - that is, how proponents organize themselves for collective action. FINDINGS: The analysis of our data sources reveals many obstacles for global prioritization of addressing violence against children, including the forms of violence considered, inadequate data to describe prevalence and a lack of evidence of the effectiveness of proposed solutions. There exists fundamental disagreement among proponents on the recently introduced frame of violence against children, including differences in the types of violence that should be prioritized and in the proposed solutions (e.g. prevention or remediation). On governance, competition between networks focused on specific forms of violence is hampering efforts to create strong governing institutions. CONCLUSION: Despite the complex challenges identified, proponents have made some progress in global prioritization of addressing violence against children. To improve this prioritization further, proponents must resolve framing tensions and strengthen governance mechanisms to promote shared goals, while ensuring that networks focused on particular forms of violence are able to maintain their distinct identities.


Subject(s)
Child Abuse , Global Health , Health Policy , Health Priorities , Child , Child Abuse/prevention & control , Humans , Violence/prevention & control
9.
Glob Public Health ; 16(6): 815-819, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1240857

ABSTRACT

Violence against children occurs in all countries, affecting children of all ages, genders, race and socio-economic strata. A multiplicity of factors contributes to children's experience of violence. Social and gender norms can act as risk and protective factors exposing children to violence or preventing them from having well-being and healthy development. This Special Symposium was conceived of during the first International Viable and Operable Ideas for Child Equality (VOICE) Conference in 2018 in Bali, Indonesia. The four manuscripts in this Special Symposium illustrate with evidence the importance of social norms to preventing violence against children and the importance of understanding norms in context. The authors find that understanding how geographic location, social cohesion, group roles and identities, age and gendered expectations inform whether, when and which children experience violence, who perpetrates it, and how individuals and communities respond to it. The global COVID-19 pandemic has illustrated how rapidly behaviours can shift towards caregiving and health, as well as against it. If we are to prevent violence against children, and ensure the safety, well-being, and opportunity to thrive for all children, advancing our understanding of norms in relation to violence against children is critical to effective programming and learning.


Subject(s)
Child Abuse/prevention & control , Congresses as Topic , Social Norms , Violence/prevention & control , Adolescent , COVID-19 , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
12.
Child Abuse Negl ; 116(Pt 2): 105078, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1208610

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 has become a worldwide pandemic impacting child protection services (CPSs) in many countries. With quarantine and social distancing restrictions, school closures, and recreational venues suspended or providing reduced access, the social safety net for violence prevention has been disrupted significantly. Impacts include the concerns of underreporting and increased risk of child abuse and neglect, as well as challenges in operating CPSs and keeping their workforce safe. OBJECTIVE: The current discussion paper explored the impact of COVID-19 on child maltreatment reports and CPS responses by comparing countries using available population data. METHOD: Information was gathered from researchers in eight countries, including contextual information about the country's demographics and economic situation, key elements of the CPS, and the CPS response to COVID-19. Where available, information about other factors affecting children was also collected. These data informed a discussion about between-country similarities and differences. RESULTS: COVID-19 had significant impact on the operation of every CPS, whether in high- income or low-income countries. Most systems encountered some degree of service disruption or change. Risk factors for children appeared to increase while there were often substantial deficits in CPS responses, and in most countries there was at a temporary decrease in CM reports despite the increased risks to children. CONCLUSIONS: The initial data presented and discussed among the international teams pointed to the way COVID-19 has hampered CPS responses and the protection of children more generally in most jurisdictions, highlighting that children appear to have been at greater risk for maltreatment during COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Child Abuse , Child Protective Services , Adult , Australia , Brazil , COVID-19/psychology , Canada , Child , Child Abuse/prevention & control , Child Abuse/statistics & numerical data , Child Protective Services/statistics & numerical data , Colombia , Female , Germany , Humans , Income , Israel , Male , Poverty , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , South Africa
14.
Child Maltreat ; 26(3): 255-266, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1159277

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To estimate household exposure to COVID-19 related stress and the association with parent report of neglectful, harsh, and positive discipline practices. METHODS: Cross sectional survey data was collected from 2,068 parents in the Northeastern US. Parents reported personal and household experiences of COVID-19 stressors, their level of distress, and use of neglectful parenting and discipline practices for a randomly selected child in their home. Analyses estimated rates of COVID-19 related stress and parenting practices. Logistic regression was used to assess the relation of COVID-19 stress to parenting behaviors. RESULTS: Individual and household stressor level, as well as distress were each positively associated with likelihood of neglect. Personal exposure to stressors was minimally related to discipline, but household stressor level and parents' distress were positively associated with harsh and positive discipline. DISCUSSION: Indicators of COVID-19 stress (e.g., exposure to stressors and distress) each uniquely predicted parents' use of neglect, particularly physical and family-based sub-types, and use of harsh and positive discipline practices. Results suggest that parents may require additional support to provide appropriate care for their children while coping with the increased rates of stress associated with the pandemic and the resulting public health response.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Child Abuse/prevention & control , Child Rearing/psychology , Parenting/psychology , Punishment/psychology , Stress, Psychological/psychology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Internal-External Control , Parents/psychology
19.
Rev. Paul. Pediatr. (Ed. Port., Online) ; 39: e2020267, 2021. tab
Article in English | WHO COVID, LILACS (Americas) | ID: covidwho-910275

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT Objective: Social isolation is currently identified as the best way to prevent the infection by the new coronavirus. However, for some social groups, such as children and adolescents, this measure carries a contradiction: the home, which should be the safest place for them, is also a frequent environment of a sad aggravation: domestic violence. This study aims to evaluate the notifications of interpersonal/self-inflicted violence available in the Information System for Notifiable Diseases in the State of Santa Catarina (southern Brazil), for the juvenile age group, before and during the new coronavirus pandemics. Methods: Cross-sectional, descriptive study of violence against children and adolescents (from 0 to 19 years) notified by health professionals by completing and entering the occurrence in the Information System for Notifiable Diseases of the State of Santa Catarina in 11 weeks in which the social isolation measure was instituted as mandatory, comparing with the same period before this measure. Results: During the study period, 136 municipalities in Santa Catarina made 1,851 notifications. There was a decrease of 55.3% of them in the isolation period, and the difficulties encountered in seeking protection and assistance institutions were listed. Conclusions: The society needs to be aware of possible cases of violence in the children and adolescent population. It is important to provide accessible, effective, and safe ways for complaints and notifications, as well as a quick response to the cases, aiming at protecting victims and minimizing damages to prevent the perpetuation of the violence.


RESUMO Objetivo: O isolamento social é identificado, no momento, como a melhor forma para evitar o contágio pelo novo coronavírus. Porém, para alguns grupos sociais, como crianças e adolescentes, essa medida carrega uma contradição: o lar, que deveria ser o local mais seguro para eles, é também um ambiente frequente de um triste agravo, a violência doméstica. Este estudo visou avaliar e comparar as notificações compulsórias de violências interpessoais/autoprovocadas disponíveis no Sistema de Informação de Agravos de Notificação do Estado de Santa Catarina, pré e pós-pandemia do novo coronavírus. Métodos: Estudo transversal, descritivo e analítico das violências contra crianças e adolescentes (de 0 a 19 anos de idade completos) notificadas pelos profissionais de saúde mediante o preenchimento e a inserção das ocorrências no Sistema de Informação de Agravos de Notificação do Estado de Santa Catarina, no período de 11 semanas em que foi instituída como obrigatória a medida de isolamento social, comparando tais eventos com os de igual período anterior a essa medida. Resultados: No período estudado, 136 municípios catarinenses realizaram 1.851 notificações. Houve diminuição de 55,3% destas no período de isolamento, listando-se possíveis dificuldades encontradas para a procura de instituições de proteção e assistência. Conclusões: Alerta-se para a necessidade de a sociedade estar atenta para a suspeita e evidência dos casos de violência na população infantojuvenil, e ressalta-se a importância de que sejam propiciadas formas acessíveis, eficazes e seguras, como incentivo para as denúncias, a notificação e o rápido atendimento dos casos, visando à proteção das vítimas, à minimização dos danos e, assim, ao impedimento da perpetuação da violência.


Subject(s)
Humans , Child , Adolescent , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Child Abuse/prevention & control , Child Abuse/statistics & numerical data , Child Welfare , Domestic Violence/prevention & control , Domestic Violence/trends , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Brazil/epidemiology , Child Health/trends , Cross-Sectional Studies , Data Collection/methods , Data Collection/statistics & numerical data , Needs Assessment , Adolescent Health/trends , Pandemics , Betacoronavirus , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19
20.
Child Maltreat ; 26(1): 9-16, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-835717

ABSTRACT

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic brings new worries about the welfare of children, particularly those of families living in poverty and impacted other risk factors. These children will struggle more during the pandemic because of financial pressures and stress placed on parents, as well as their limited access to services and systems of support. In this commentary, we explain how current circumstances reinforce the need for systemic change within statutory child welfare systems and the benefits that would accrue by implementing a continuum of services that combine universal supports with early intervention strategies. We also focus on promising approaches consistent with goals for public health prevention and draw out ideas related workforce development and cross-sector collaboration.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Child Abuse/trends , Child Welfare/trends , Health Services Needs and Demand/trends , Child , Child Abuse/prevention & control , Humans
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