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Negotiating to Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect

Caterina Arcidiacono (SUN, University of Naples, Italy)
Patrizia Palomba (SUN, University of Naples, Italy)
Antonio Salzano (SUN, University of Naples, Italy)

Journal of Public Mental Health

ISSN: 1746-5729

Article publication date: 1 February 2000



In a multi‐agency, multilevel and multisystem scenario, the Provincial Education Office in Naples promoted a training module for the prevention of child neglect and abuse through a successful partnership approach. A training course, presented on a modular basis, was directed at teachers and heads of the nursery and primary schools throughout Naples. The object was to raise awareness, competence and coping skills when incidences of child abuse and neglect were presented.The aims of the module were:█ to give participants the means to recognise both the signs of hidden problems in the child's behaviour and the disguised signs of maltreatment and abuse█ to support the school representatives and help them to acquire the necessary competencies to enable them to become a reference point for the child, so aiding the child in the disclosure of information and subsequent protection processes█ to promote an effective working methodology, through joint collaboration between school workers, health and social services staff and the magistracy█ to enable the course participants to acquire competence through acquiring appropriate knowledge and skills by the assimilation of relevant information.A semi‐structured questionnaire was drawn up to evaluate the training module. A hundred and seventy‐nine school teachers and school managers completed the questionnaire prior to receiving the training, and a hundred and fiftyfour after; the results provided positive evidence of the effectiveness of the programme. The analysis of the data and comparison of the results highlighted the interest in gaining more knowledge of the subject, especially among the younger participants. It is important to emphasise that while they were on the course participants welcomed the proposal for joint working between the school, health and social services and the legal authorities. However, no positive changes were observed in relation to the involvement of the judiciary, who have for some time been considered with suspicion and reserve. The course also encouraged the school workers to develop a greater appreciation of the benefits to be derived from a multidisciplinary approach to this issue.


Arcidiacono, C., Palomba, P. and Salzano, A. (2000), "Negotiating to Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect", Journal of Public Mental Health, Vol. 2 No. 2, pp. 20-28.




Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

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