New report focuses on most effective ways to prevent child abuse

More than 11,500 children were victims of abuse and neglect in Oregon in 2011. In addition to the immediate toll that abuse takes on the child’s physical and emotional health, studies have shown a strong association between child abuse and adult health problems, including heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

The trauma of child maltreatment lasts throughout a child’s life into adulthood. The good news is that child abuse is preventable.

As part of our ongoing efforts to improve the health and safety of Oregon’s children, OHSU was one of the sponsors of the “Preserving Childhood” report developed by the Children’s Trust Fund of Oregon in partnership with Prevent Child Abuse Oregon.

This report, presented by Cambia Health Foundation, focused on the most effective ways to prevent child maltreatment. The report highlighted the most successful prevention programs, including Period of PURPLE Crying, a prevention program already in place at OHSU.

Many families face daily challenges, including economic struggles, domestic violence, addiction and mental illness. These challenges are made more difficult when extended family or friends are not available to provide support. The Preserving Childhood report will help us identify the most effective ways to support and strengthen Oregon families and prevent child abuse.

Thomas Valvano, M.D.
Medical Director, Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect Program
OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital