anything for the problem of child maltreatment,” said Petersen.The current emphasis on child well-being and parenting interventions bears promise that children will be at the center of future reforms.
The speakers at the workshop identified many priorities and questions for future research and other opportunities for future action. These are compiled here to provide a sense of the range of suggestions made; additional detail and nuanced discussions are available in the preceding chapters. The suggestions are identified with the speaker who made them and should not be construed as reflecting consensus from the workshop or endorsement by the National Academies.
Recognizing and Assessing Child Maltreatment
• A consensus on research definitions needs to be established for each type of child maltreatment based on sound testing for relevance and usefulness in economically and culturally diverse populations. (Widom)
• Systems of evaluation and care for child maltreatment need additional study, including the linkages between child abuse pediatricians and CPS agencies. Particular attention should also be given to the roles of CACs and multidisciplinary teams because these are tightly linked to evaluation. (Leventhal)
• Researchers should examine how to improve the decision making of primary care clinicians, emergency room physicians, and child abuse pediatricians. (Leventhal) Research is needed on which children need which diagnostic tests. (Leventhal)
• Many research questions could be asked on assessment for mental health services planning:
ο Within the context of frontline child welfare practice, how well do current (and proposed) assessment tools and procedures identify children with particular problems who likely need mental health services?