Most child abuse and neglect (CAN) goes undetected. Research shows that training professionals significantly contributes to better identification and reporting of child maltreatment. Many countries struggle with the same problem: the majority of their professionals lack the knowledge and skills to recognize CAN. Also, their training materials reach only a small percentage of professionals.

For these reasons, the Augeo Foundation began developing and implementing high-quality e-learning courses in 2010 on the theme of child abuse and neglect via the Augeo Academy. Over 200,000 doctors, nurses and other (medical) professionals followed our online courses. More than 65% of the Dutch hospitals use the Augeo Academy courses. As a result, the percentage of medical staff trained to detect CAN increased in our country from approximately 10% to more than 75% and hospitals have become the primary CAN reporters within ten years.

The effectiveness of these online training courses for the health care sector has also been researched by University Medical Centre Utrecht and the results have been published in the Archives of Diseases in Childhood (Smeekens et al., 2013). The research shows that those who complete the online course ‘Recognizing the Signs’ are able to ask their patients a greater number of more effective questions aimed at identifying possible abuse, and are also better at recognizing cases of abuse. In addition to this, a survey revealed that 86% of people who completed the courses felt more equipped to tackle cases of child abuse and domestic violence. Two additional surveys were carried out on effectiveness among primary education teachers.

All courses offered by Augeo Academy were developed and implemented in close collaboration with professional associations and other national and international partners, such as the government, knowledge institutes and ISPCAN.