Child Maltreatment/Abuse and Neglect

The Virginia Department of Health supports the implementation of strategies based on the best available evidence to help prevent child abuse and neglect. These strategies include strengthening economic supports to families; changing social norms to support parents and positive parenting; providing quality care and education early in life; enhancing parenting skills to promote healthy child development; and intervening to lessen harms and prevent future risk.

Safe Environment for Every Kid: SEEK
Addressing Child Maltreatment through a Public Health Lens

Partnership with the University of Maryland School of Medicine Center for Families and the Division of Child Protection within the Department of Pediatrics

The SEEK model offers primary care and pediatric professionals a practical and evidence-based approach to help address prevalent psychosocial problems that contribute to child maltreatment. The population served are parents/caregivers of children aged 0-5 years.

The aim of SEEK is to build caregiver-pediatric healthcare provider relationships, strengthen families, support parents, and thereby promote children’s health, development, and safety.

The project approach to SEEK is to address targeted risk factors for child maltreatment including parental depression, major stress, substance use/abuse, domestic violence, food insecurity, and harsh punishment.

SEEK is recognized by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and American Academy of Pediatrics, Bright Futures. The project is listed on the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Child Abuse and Neglect website as a best practices prevention model.

For more information about SEEK and technical assistance, email ivp@vdh.virginia.gov

Resources Supporting SEEK