In response to the ‘neglect and abuse in childhood’ paper published in the journal Pediatrics, Dr Geoff Debelle, Child Protection Officer for the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) said:
“This important piece of research emphasises the serious impact abuse and neglect in childhood can have on an individual and sadly, as the author to this paper points out, children who face socioeconomic disadvantage are more likely to have children themselves who face the same terrible situation.
“Prevention and early detection of abuse and neglect in childhood is key if we are to break this vicious cycle – access to additional training for all health professionals will play a crucial role.
“However, whilst training opportunities will help give healthcare workers the confidence to raise concerns with officials earlier, the benefit will be lost if vital services like health visiting services are not protected from funding cuts.
“Additionally, schools have a role to play in helping children understand the difference between healthy and abusive relationships. That’s why the RCPCH has long called for Person Social Health Education (PSHE) to be compulsory in all schools.”
“Maltreatment and living standards at 50 years” is published in Pediatrics.