An Upstream Approach: Using Data-Driven Home Visiting to Prevent Child Abuse
Gabriel Vasquez (Former Staff)Child Abuse & Neglect Early Childhood Education Health Housing & Homelessness Poverty & Family Economics
By Daniel Heimpel
Today, Los Angeles County’s Board of Supervisors will vote on a motion to move 103 public health nurses from the Department of Children and Family Services to the Department of Public Health.
While largely administrative, the development sets the nation’s largest child welfare system up for a much broader discussion about how public health strategies can help break the intergenerational cycles of abuse that result in preventable child maltreatment.
In particular, data identifying heightened maltreatment risk for children born to young mothers who have experienced abuse themselves provides an opportunity to better target the county’s home visiting programs. While the county appears to be getting it right with pregnant foster youth, two premier home visiting programs do not triage their severely limited service capacity based on families at the highest statistical risk for abuse.
If Los Angeles County were to do something new on this front, it would be following the lead of …