Child maltreatment in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic: A proposed global framework on research, policy and practice

Carmit Katz, Sidnei R. Priolo Filho, Jill Korbin, Annie Bérubé, Ansie Fouché, Sadiyya Haffejee, David Kaawa-Mafigiri, Kathryn Maguire-Jack, Pablo Muñoz, James Spilsbury, George Tarabulsy, Ashwini Tiwari, Diane Thembekile Levine, Elmien Truter, Natalia Varela

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Child protection is and will be drastically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Comprehending this new reality and identifying research, practice and policy paths are urgent needs. Objective: The current paper aims to suggest a framework for risk and protective factors that need to be considered in child protection in its various domains of research, policy, and practice during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Strategy: From an international collaboration involving researchers and child protection professionals from eight countries, the current paper examines various factors that were identified as playing an important role in the child protection system. The initial suggested framework: Through the use of an ecological framework, the current paper points to risk and protective factors that need further exploration. Key conclusions point to the urgent need to address the protection of children in this time of a worldwide pandemic. Discussion of risk and protective factors is significantly influenced by the societal context of various countries, which emphasizes the importance of international collaboration in protecting children, especially in the time of a worldwide pandemic. Conclusion: The COVID-19 pandemic has stressed the urgent need to advance both theory and practice in order to ensure children's rights to safety and security during any pandemic. The suggested framework has the potential to advance these efforts so that children will be better protected from maltreatment amidst a pandemic in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104824
JournalChild Abuse and Neglect
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Child maltreatment
  • Child protection

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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