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Child Maltreatment: A six-country comparison of trends and policy

16 December 2011

18 January 2012, 16:30-18:00 followed by drinks reception

Roberts G06 Sir Ambrose Fleming LT, Roberts Building

Professor Ruth Gilbert (UCL Institute of Child Health) will present results of a study of child maltreatment trends and policies across six countries/states: England, USA, Sweden, New Zealand, Western Australia (Australia) and Manitoba (Canada). The study found that, after the mid-1990s, the rates of violent deaths and maltreatment-related injuries remained stable in most settings. Only in Sweden and Manitoba did decreases in violent deaths coincide with decreases in hospital admissions due to injury related to maltreatment. Officially recognised physical abuse or neglect mostly remained stable across the six nations, but other indicators of agency notification, investigation or placement in out-of-home care increased, particularly in infants.


A snapshot of the maltreatment-related data from 2004–2006 showed that violent deaths in the USA were more than five times higher than in Australia or Sweden, which had the lowest rates. Child protection investigations were much more common in the USA (1 in every 20 children) and New Zealand (1 in 25) children than in Western Australia (1 in 170). Placement in out-of-home care rates for infants were 0.7% in England, 0.6% in New Zealand and 0.6% in the USA, which is twice as high as in Western Australia (0.3%) or Sweden (0.3%). While these analyses represented a small and not statistically significant increase in England, subsequent data from the UK Department of Education show a 9% increase between 2009 and 2010 in rates of placement of infants outside of their homes.

Hosted by the UCL Institute for Global Health. Join us to discuss the need for robust research to determine whether the high and rising levels of agency contacts and out-of-home care in some settings are effectively reducing child maltreatment. Our panel will include UK and global specialists in child maltreatment to discuss comparisons and assess research priorities across the globe.

All are welcome!

Register to attend via our website or Eventbrite

If you have any accessibility or communication requirements, or for any further information, please contact Helen Hopkins, UCL Grand Challenge of Global Health