Fusing the Poverty-Aware Paradigm with Public Health Approaches to Protect Children: a Case Study of an Israeli Social Services Department

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This article aims to explore the potential contribution of incorporating the Poverty-Aware Paradigm for Child Protection—a critical framework for child protection policy and practice—with public health approaches to protecting children. It focuses on one Israeli social services department that embraced the Poverty-Aware Paradigm as an overarching framework for all levels of practice and specifically in the context of child protection. Based on an in-depth case study of the department’s child protection practice, the findings outline and describe the primary, secondary, and tertiary services and interventions through which the department addresses child maltreatment. These services and interventions are explored in light of Higgins and colleagues’ conceptualization of the six core components of public health approaches to preventing child maltreatment. This exploration points to the compatibly of the two frameworks and suggests three potential contributions of the Poverty-Aware Paradigm to the development of a public health approach. First, it offers a holistic and critical framework that focuses on a multidimensional analysis of child maltreatment and makes it possible to link tertiary responses to primary-level interventions. Second, it provides a firm ethical foundation rooted in a commitment to resisting social oppression and standing by parents, children, and their relationships. Third, it infuses relational concepts and practices into the policy and practice of public health approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)431-451
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal on Child Maltreatment: Research, Policy and Practice
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Child protection; Child maltreatment
  • Community-based interventions
  • Critical practice
  • Poverty-aware paradigm
  • Public health approaches

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Health(social science)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Law


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