Costs and effectiveness of interventions in child maltreatment

Child Abuse Negl. 1990;14(2):177-86. doi: 10.1016/0145-2134(90)90029-s.


There has been increasing awareness of the need to prevent child maltreatment at a time of limited public funds. As a result, cost-effectiveness has become important in the planning of health care and social services. Evaluations of child maltreatment interventions that have been analyzed for their cost-effectiveness are reviewed. There has been relatively little work in this area and much of it has serious methodological flaws. Nevertheless, research suggests that home health visitors, lay group counseling, and family and group therapy are promising interventions. Medical foster care has been shown to substantially reduce costs, but its effectiveness has not been determined. Current knowledge on the effectiveness of interventions in child maltreatment is limited, and this needs to be addressed in order to answer the question of cost-effectiveness. Recommendations are made for future research in the field.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child Abuse / economics*
  • Child Abuse / prevention & control
  • Child Welfare / economics*
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Humans
  • United States