One of the most widely studied ways to prevent child maltreatment is the home-visitation program, in which trained professionals visit new mothers in their homes to provide advice and assistance with child rearing and related topics. The Obama administration has proposed a new initiative that would fund such home-visiting programs. Only programs shown by high-quality studies to produce significant effects on mothers or children would be eligible for funding. Chairman Jim McDermott (D-Wash) of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support has introduced legislation that would implement the president’s proposal.
On October 1, The Future of Children, a joint project between Princeton University and the Brookings Institution, released a new journal edition, “Preventing Child Maltreatment,” at an event featuring Representative McDermott and former Representative Nancy Johnson. An expert panel explored how successful programs will be determined, who will decide whether programs are successful, and how the program will be financed.