Improve the detection of child abuse and neglect in cooperation with Augeo
Augeo is a private, not-for-profit foundation based in the Netherlands and was founded in 2007. Our objective is to ensure that children can grow up healthy and safe without neglect, violence, abuse and other kinds of chronic ‘family stress’. One of our means is to enable professionals in health care, but also education and social work, to detect and deal with potentially harmful situations for children.
Experience from The Netherlands shows that, hospitals can become the number 1 CAN reporter. Within 5 years’ time (2007 – 2012), hospital staff in this country have reported 5.000 more CAN cases. How did this happen? In the first place, Dutch hospitals started implementing better screening procedures and the health inspectorate began to actively monitor the implementation of their so-called abuse policies. In the second place, training was implemented on a large scale; the share of medical staff that completed training on detecting CAN increased from approximately 10% to more than 75%. The availability of the online courses of Augeo made it possible to effectively and successfully train large numbers of these professionals in these topics in such a short period of time.
Our approach has proven to be successful. Nowadays, 60 % of all Dutch hospitals use our online courses. Moreover, using a randomised controlled methodology, the University Medical Centre Utrecht demonstrated the effectiveness of our medical courses. More specifically, according to an article in the Archives of Diseases in Childhood with an investment of 2 hours e-learning, performance in a simulated case regarding the recognition of child abuse was measurably improved in nurses working in an emergency department (Smeekens et al. 2013).
Augeo would like to enable other countries to benefit from this Dutch successful approach. Therefore, a number of international pilot projects are currently underway in Germany and the United States. On request of the Kinderklinieken in der Weser Ems region in Germany Augeo made some of its online courses accessible for their staff. According to a pre-test carried out prior to their implementation, the rated self-efficacy in tackling CAN decreases with age and years of working experience.