Child maltreatment is a major public health issue, which threatens psychophysical well-being of almost 100.000 minors in Italy. The prevalence and social burden of this issue clearly indicate the need for preventive efforts, early identification of victimized children and a rapid risk assessment of families referred to Child Protection Services (CPS). The present chapter proposes an evidence-based multi-method assessment system, specific for highlighting risk and protective factors in family functioning. The assessment system is comprised of six modules: • one in-depth protocol for identifying proximate and distal risk and protective factors of maltreatment and recidivism against children; • one explorative tool for assessing the (residual) social capital in an at-risk family • four screening surveys for assessing parenting stress, parental child abuse potential, parents’ resilience, and traumatic symptoms (in children). In our proposal, distal risk factors imply a condition of vulnerability but exert an indirect influence on the child’s developmental trajectory, while proximate factors (both risk and protective) exert a direct influence on the adaptation of the child. Research foundations of the assessment system lie on several research carried out from 2008 to nowadays: the chapter proposes a brief review of main outcomes, focusing especially on the Factors of the Protocol of risk and protective factors (Di Blasio, 2005). A better comprehension of risk and protective factors in family violence may inform and guide preventive interventions on primary, secondary and tertiary level. Our assessment system is meant to assist professionals in both decision-making and protection of children in all of these levels.
|Title of host publication||Children and Peace: from Research to Action|
|Editors||Daniel J Christie Nikola Balvin|
|Number of pages||21|
|Publication status||Published - 2020|
- child maltreatment, risk factors, protective factors, risk assessment