Investing to protect our children: Using economics to derive an evidence-based strategy

Leonie Segal, Kim Dalziel

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    10 Citations (Scopus)


    Child abuse and neglect are global problems that affect over 25 per cent of children and have serious health, social and economic consequences. Government and other agencies are heavily committed to the provision of services to address the consequences of abuse and neglect. In a climate of scarce resources, there is increasing interest in developing cost-effective strategies to prevent child maltreatment. Economic evaluation in the context of formal 'priority setting' can contribute to the development of an efficient child protection strategy and at the same time develop the arguments to support an increased investment in the prevention of child maltreatment. Key challenges arise from incompleteness of the evidence base of effective interventions and the considerable complexity of the cross-portfolio effects. The latter has resulted in the widespread failure to capture the full range of impacts, most notably intergenerational effects, quality of life and mortality. This means the benefits of investing in effective preventive strategies to address child maltreatment will be underestimated and too few resources allocated to this important task. Adoption of the proposed priority-setting framework and translation into action are likely to reduce child maltreatment and associated harms for children at risk now and in the future.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)274-289
    Number of pages16
    JournalChild Abuse Review
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2011


    • Child maltreatment
    • Economic evaluation
    • Priority setting

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
    • Law

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