Statement of Purpose Describe school-based policies that promote training on the recognition of and response to child maltreatment for educators and students; and apply said policy variation in a longitudinal analysis to estimate the relationship between said policies and reported rates of child maltreatment per NCANDS data.
Methods/Approach We developed and applied an abstraction form to measure 4 policy components: (1) policy presence/jurisdiction, (2) professionals included, (3) provisions for professional training, and (4) provisions for student/parent training. Abstracted scores were applied in a negative binomial GEE model series with year fixed effects and errors clustered at the state-level to estimate the relationship between the presence and quality of school-based training policies on reported rates of child maltreatment.
Results Forty policies enacted between 2011 and 2018 by 31 states were identified abstracted. Twenty five of these were original policies, 6 were revisions enacted by 5 states. As of 2011 only two states had active policies, scoring 18 and 20 out of a possible 30. As of 2018, the mean score of all abstracted policies was 13.8 (6.87 SD, median 16 and range of 0 - 23). GEE model results indicated positive, significant relationships across all policy measures and all included outcomes.
Conclusions There is reason to suspect that school-based policies that encourage training for educators, students and parents on recognizing and responding to child maltreatment are related to higher rates of reported child maltreatment. This may indicate that these policies offer an important secondary prevention lever for child maltreatment outcomes.
Significance The findings offer guidance for policy makers as to what policy levers exist for promoting successful recognition of and response to instances of child maltreatment; and positions related research efforts to elucidate what may position state and local leadership to take-up protective policies.
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