Imagine a world where every child is healthy, nurtured, and protected from harm. In this world, a quarter of all mental illness, crime, and lost productivity are eliminated. Today, one in six U.S. children suffers from child maltreatment, but there are only fragmented arrays of services delivering disjointed responses to this silent epidemic. It is a scientific fact that most child abuse can be predicted and prevented. We can no longer wait for a knock-on-the-door by Child Protective Services, only to move the most severely-abused children to the Courts. To protect a society from child abuse and its consequences, the solution must start early in life—when the enduring impact of prevention is highest—and integrate proven methods of risk surveillance with evidence-based intervention. Here we propose to accomplish this with a nationally-scalable, sustainable deployment of existing health and social service resources that will connect families-in-need with effective preventive intervention.
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