Skip to main content

The GP’s roleI in responding to child maltreatment: Time for a rethink?

An overview of policy, practice and research

A public health approach

There are increasing calls for a public health approach to child maltreatment. A public health approach prioritises prevention and early intervention. Within healthcare services, opportunities for a public health approach are located in the contact between professionals and children or their parents or carers and are likely to be characterised by identifying and responding to parental risk factors for maltreatment and harmful parent-child interaction.

Defining the spectrum as ‘maltreatment-related’ concerns This report focusses on the role of GPs for marginally maltreated children (in the grey area around the threshold for defining ‘maltreatment‘) as well as for children whose experiences can obviously and definitively be labelled as maltreatment. We use the term ‘maltreatmentrelated concern’ to capture the full range of professional concern which is relevant to child maltreatment.