Reducing Child Maltreatment Through Prevention
Child maltreatment is a public health problem directly linked to poor outcomes across the lifespan, including chronic health conditions and even death. The local population served by the agency in which the project took place experienced an increase in reports of child maltreatment. Agency leadership identified deficiencies in parental knowledge about positive parenting practices as a contributing factor to the problem. To address the problem, the agency implemented a quality improvement evidence-based home visiting pilot initiative. The evaluation of that initiative was the purpose of this project. Bandura's social cognitive learning theory provided the theoretical framework for the project, and the logic model was used to facilitate the practice change in the facility. Evaluation was based on data extracted from the Family Support Program Outcome Survey (FSPOS) tool completed by all 22 program participants. Comprising 7 questions, the FSPOS was a validated and reliable tool and was used to assess the increase in participants' parental knowledge related to positive parenting practices before and after participation in the home visiting program. Survey results revealed that participation in the initiative increased participant knowledge. Using a 7-point Likert scale in which higher scores indicated higher levels of positive parenting practices, participant scores increased from M = 4.71 before participation to M = 6.60 after enrollment. The results reinforce the significance of the nursing profession in health promotion and disease prevention in communities. Findings of this project have the potential to promote positive social change by decreasing child maltreatment, which may reduce cost of care and improve quality of life across the lifespan.