U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Developing Child Abuse Prevention, Identification, and Treatment Systems in Eastern Europe

NCJ Number
Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Volume: 39 Issue: 5 Dated: May 2000 Pages: 660-667
Pamela Sicher M.D.; Owen Lewis M.D.; John Sargent M.D.; Mark Chaffin Ph.D.; William N. Friedrich Ph.D.; Nicholas Cunningham M.D.; Randall Thomas Ph.D.; Patricia Thomas Ph.D.; V. Susan Villani M.D.
Date Published
May 2000
8 pages
The Children’s Mental Health Alliance and the Soros Foundation organized the Eastern European Child Abuse and Child Mental Health Project in 1995 to address the problem of child abuse within the rapidly changing sociopolitical environment in the independent Eastern European countries established after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
This multidisciplinary initiative involves collaboration with professionals from 17 countries in Eastern Europe. The project’s three guiding principles are the priority of prevention, the importance of family preservation, and the understanding that child abuse is basically a societal issue. The project’s activities have included training conferences, dissemination of information and training materials, the provision of small grants and supervision to innovative local projects, site visits, and ongoing mentoring for new country teams. The project involves four major phases. The first phase is the assessment of the level of professional knowledge, public awareness, and social and legal policy in relation to child abuse in each country. The second phase consists of education and training of core multidisciplinary groups of mental health professionals in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of child abuse and neglect. The third phase involves the development of interdisciplinary teams and their achievement of nongovernmental organization status. The final phase involves influence on social policy, with resulting legal reforms to address child abuse and neglect while supporting family preservation. 27 references (Author abstract modified)