Child Maltreatment as Social Harm

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter takes forward an approach to child protection first outlined by the author in The politics of child protection: Contemporary developments and future directions (2014, Palgrave/Macmillan). It argues that traditional child protection systems have a number of major weaknesses. In particular there has been a failure to recognise that the prevalence of child maltreatment is much greater than the number of cases that are ever known to official child protection agencies. There has been a failure to recognise that the social problem of child maltreatment is much larger and more pervasive than is officially recognised and that there are key social and structural dimensions to the problem. The chapter sets out some of the key principles on which a public health approach to child maltreatment should be based. It argues that approaches which attempt to address the wide-spread social harms to children have the best chances of overcoming current problems and in the process improving the well-being of children and the overall social capital of the societies in which they live.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRe-visioning Public Health Approaches for Protecting Children
EditorsBob Lonne, Deb Scott, Daryl Higgins, Todd I. Herrenkohl
PublisherSpringer, Cham
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9783030058586
ISBN (Print)9783030058579
Publication statusPublished - 7 May 2019


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