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The development and evaluation of a training program for school-based professionals dealing with child abuse:The University of Toronto interfaculty child abuse prevention project 1978–1979

Child Abuse & Neglect
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/0145-2134(81)90027-2
  • Child Abuse
  • Professional Education
  • Interdisciplinary Training
  • Design
  • Law


Abstract This paper reports on a child protection training program for teachers, social workers, and nurses. The training format consisted of two 5-day workshops, one for preprofessional students and the other for practicing professionals, and two one-day workshops for students. The evaluation employed a pre-test/post-test design. Data were obtained from a total of 254 workshop participants who were randomly selected from a group of 400 volunteers. The training program was designed to provide information and experience in the areas of identification, family dynamics, legislation, intervention, and team responses. Curriculum effects were the dependent variables; group characteristics were the independent variables. The general finding was that the program was an effective means of accomplishing its objectives. Some of the specific findings were that professionals wanted more content in contrast to students who were satisfied with experiences which simulated practice. Both social work professionals and students were more confident in their ability to deal with the problem of child abuse before and after the program than teachers and nurses. In contrast, teachers began and ended the program with relatively low confidence and information levels. Overall, nurses had the highest level of entry and exit knowledge at the beginning and the end of the program. While the results indicate that the three groups profited from shared training experiences they also suggest that certain areas of training may best be realized by specialized workshops.

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