Problem Solving Brief #1: Epidemiology of Child Maltreatment and Policy

This is one of those “you get to be creative and use your skills to integrate different kinds of knowledge” types of assignments. The basic question is “tell us about the child maltreatment definitions and laws in your states, and relate them to maltreatment rates (e.g. child maltreatment reports). Then consider how context (child demographics, family povery…) might impact the policy or program response.

You should cover all the following 4 aspects:

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1. Introduction-comparative summary of child maltreatment definitions, reporting and screen out approaches across the states.
2. How might differences in the policies you discuss in section 1 impact who is reported for what across states. So, for example, you might notice that one state has a much more restrictive definition of child maltreatment. Does this seem to manifest in lower report rates for that state compared to others?
3. How are demographics similar or different across states in regard to racial/ethnic group, immigrant populations, child poverty rates… How might this impact policy planning (e.g., language, culture, higher risk of maltreatment if poverty rates much higher…)
4. Conclusion & Policy recommendation: So considering all three of these factors, what would your policy suggestion be to the governor of one of these states. You have to think about $$ so you don’t create what is called an “unfunded mandate”. What is each state’s political and/ or economic situation (i.e., how easy or difficult might it be to make big prevention changes based on how things are going in one state’s budget compared to another???).

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