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Re-Visioning Public Health Approaches for Protecting Children

  • Features emerging systemic, policy and practice theory, and critical analysis concerning the development of public health approaches for the prevention of child maltreatment in various jurisdictions

  • Captures the complexity in addressing the variety of ideological, institutional and historical issues in protection children

  • Examines the increased attention focused upon public health approaches to prevent maltreatment and provide earlier interventions to assist vulnerable and struggling families and communities

  • Offers new insights conceptualizing public health approaches to raise more awareness of delivering services for child protection

Part of the book series: Child Maltreatment (MALT, volume 9)

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  • ISBN: 978-3-030-05858-6
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Table of contents (28 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xxxiii
  2. The Policy and Program History of Child Protection

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 1-1
    2. The Successes and Limitations of Contemporary Approaches to Child Protection

      • Daryl Higgins, Bob Lonne, Todd I. Herrenkohl, Debbie Scott
      Pages 3-17
    3. Stakeholder’s Experiences of the Forensic Child Protection Paradigm

      • Helen Buckley, Morag McArthur, Tim Moore, Erica Russ, Tania Withington
      Pages 19-33
    4. Assessing the Outcomes of Alternative Care and Treatment Responses

      • Amy Conley Wright, Melissa Kaltner
      Pages 35-47
  3. Conceptualising Public Health Approaches

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 63-63
    2. Intersecting Forms of Child Victimization and Public Health Prevention

      • Todd I. Herrenkohl, J. Bart Klika
      Pages 97-112
    3. Universal Services: The Foundation for Effective Prevention

      • Deborah Daro, Cara Karter
      Pages 113-126
    4. Youth-Serving Organization Safety Risks and the Situational Prevention Approach

      • Keith Kaufman, Marcus Erooga, Daryl Higgins, Judith Zatkin
      Pages 165-180
    5. How Can Differential Response Inform a Public Health Approach to Child Maltreatment Prevention?

      • Lisa Merkel-Holguin, Tamara Fuller, Marc Winokur, Ida Drury, Bob Lonne
      Pages 181-196
    6. Critiques of a Public Health Model in Child Maltreatment

      • Mel Gray, Leanne Schubert
      Pages 221-234
  4. Addressing Operational and Systemic Issues

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 235-235
    2. The Role, Importance and Challenges of Data for a Public Health Model

      • Debbie Scott, Agatha Faulkner
      Pages 253-267

About this book

This volume provides readers around the globe with a focused and comprehensive examination of how to prevent and respond to child maltreatment using evidence-informed public health approaches and programs that meet the needs of vulnerable children, and struggling families and communities. It outlines the system failures of contemporary forensically-driven child protection practice. Detailed guidance is provided about how to re-think earlier intervention strategies, and establish stronger and more effective programs and services that prevent maltreatment at the population level. Service user and stakeholder perspectives, particularly from marginalized groups including Indigenous peoples, highlight how public health approaches can better support families and keep children safe. Case studies from different countries grapple with the fraught nature of large system change and the various strategies needed to effect multi-level reforms. Presenting the reader with an array of innovative services used in different institutional and community context, this volume confronts the complex challenges found in implementing successful prevention programs that are aligned with diverse cultural and political environments and community expectations.


  • Public Health Approaches
  • Prevention of Child Maltreatment
  • Public Health Methodologies
  • History of Child Welfare
  • Child Abuse and Neglect
  • Contemporary Approaches to Child Protection
  • Child Protection Service
  • Community Engagement in Child Neglect
  • Public Health Approaches to Child Protection
  • Implement Family Support from a Public Health Perspective
  • Child Sexual Abuse Prevention
  • Improve the Well-Being of Children and Families
  • Promoting Positive Youth Development


“The book brings together experts in law, child maltreatment, public health, social work, and psychology, both academics and practitioners, to offer excellent insights into the translation of research evidence into practice. ... This would be an important read for graduate students and scholars from the social sciences and health and medical humanities entering into public health research and practice.” (Ann M Cheney, Doody's Book Reviews, December 7, 2019)

Editors and Affiliations

  • School of Health, University of New England, Armidale, Australia

    Bob Lonne

  • Senior Research Fellow, Monash University, Victoria, Australia

    Deb Scott

  • Institute of Child Protection Studies, Australian Catholic University, Melbourne, Australia

    Daryl Higgins

  • Marion Elizabeth Blue Professor of Child and Family, University of Michigan School of Social Work, Ann Arbor, USA

    Todd I. Herrenkohl

About the editors

Prof. Bob Lonne – Professor Lonne has a distinguished professional, management, research and academic career, with a primary focus on protecting children from maltreatment and developing earlier intervention and prevention strategies. He co-authored the Routledge publications ‘Reforming Child Protection’ (2009) and the follow up ‘Working Ethically in Child Protection’ (2016) which have influenced debate and critical analysis world wide of the processes and outcomes of the social and institutional arrangements used to prevent maltreatment and support struggling families. He has a longstanding commitment to the area of child protection and its service-delivery and workforce issues, and has authored and presented extensively on related issues in social work and the human services. Professor Lonne has participated and contributed to policy forums at the state and federal levels, and internationally and is recognized by Inquiries as an expert witness in relation to child protection systems. He has been a passionate advocate for earlier intervention and prevention strategies, highlighting how current approaches fail many children and contribute to poor life outcomes for children in state care. Professor Lonne was the National President of the Australian Association of Social Workers from 2005-2011.

Dr. Debbie Scott is a multidisciplinary researcher with nursing and public health background. Her early work as a nurse and public health injury prevention professional has led to a unique perspective to approaches in child protection and child well-being. Debbie has contributed to more than 100 peer review papers, manuscripts and government reports and is an experienced speaker, presenting at local, national and international conferences – including a number of keynote and invited papers. Debbie was the manager of the Queensland Injury Surveillance Unit, using surveillance data to inform policy on product safety, driver licensing for adolescents and toddler drownings, for example. She has extensive experience in the linkage of larger administrative data sets and health classifications, participating in the development of ICD-11 for child maltreatment coding of health data. She has worked in a number of academic and government settings. Her current work as a Senior Research Fellow for Monash University, Australia is focused on the intersection of child protection, family violence, mental health and alcohol and drugs.


Prof. Daryl Higgins is the Director of the Institute of Child Protection Studies, Australian Catholic University. He is located at the St Patrick’s (Melbourne) Campus. He was formerly the Deputy Director at the Australian Institute of Family Studies, where he has led innovative knowledge translation/exchange functions that have increased access to the evidence base for policy makers and practitioners working to protect children and promote family and community well-being. His work has focused in articulating the public health approach to safe family environments, and strategies for building child-safe organisational environments. Engagement between the research, policy and practice communities—in order to understand, and improve the circumstances of children, young people and their families—has been his passion for more than 25 years. As an academic and a senior commonwealth public servant, Daryl has contributed to more than 230 publications and over 440 presentations and media engagements. He has provided advice to key influential bodies on child protection, family policy, and population-level public health approaches to child safety and wellbeing, in Australia and internationally.


Todd I. Herrenkohl, PhD is Professor and Marion Elizabeth Blue Professor of Child and Family at the University of Michigan School of Social Work. Formerly, he was Professor and Co-Director of the 3DL Partnership at the School of Social Work, University of Washington. His scholarship focuses on the correlates and consequences of child maltreatment, risk and resiliency, and positive youth development. His funded studies and publications examine health-risk behaviors in children exposed to adversity, protective factors that buffer against early risk exposure, and prevention. An international scholar, Dr. Herrenkohl works with policy makers, school and child welfare professionals, and community partners to increase the visibility, application, and sustainability of evidence-based programs and practices in prevention, social emotional learning, and trauma-responsive care. 

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Re-Visioning Public Health Approaches for Protecting Children

  • Editors: Bob Lonne, Deb Scott, Daryl Higgins, Todd I. Herrenkohl

  • Series Title: Child Maltreatment

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer Cham

  • eBook Packages: Social Sciences, Social Sciences (R0)

  • Copyright Information: Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-030-05857-9

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-030-05858-6

  • Series ISSN: 2211-9701

  • Series E-ISSN: 2211-971X

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XXXIII, 504

  • Number of Illustrations: 7 b/w illustrations, 9 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: Childhood Education, Public Health, Children, Youth and Family Policy, Social Work

Buying options

eBook USD 119.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-030-05858-6
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Hardcover Book USD 159.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)