Evaluating Child Maltreatment and Family Violence Risk During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Using a Telehealth Home Visiting Program as a Conduit to Families




Lindsey Rose Bullinger, Stevan Marcus, Katherine Reuben, Daniel Whitaker, and Shannon Self-Brown

Brief Type

Journal Publication


  • SafeCare/SafeCare Augmented


The COVID-19 pandemic has affected many child maltreatment risk factors and may have affected maltreatment among vulnerable families. We surveyed 258 certified providers of an evidence-based home visiting program, SafeCare, about their perception of the impact of the pandemic on the families they serve. We examined if the providers perceived an overall change in child maltreatment and family violence risk among the families with young children they served and factors that may have contributed to changes. Regressions estimated the relationship between providers’ assessment of families’ ability to social distance, emotional struggles, and access to public resources/services with providers’ perception of child maltreatment and family violence risk in the home. Findings indicate that 87% of providers believed maltreatment risk had increased during the pandemic. Providers serving families who were unable to social distance due to employment were more likely to report increased supervisory neglect and material neglect among the families they serve. Providers reporting that families were struggling with elevated frustration levels also reported more family conflict and material neglect among the families they serve. Results from this research can inform strategic decision-making for policies and programs that address the challenges low-income families with young children face in emergency situations. (author abstract)

Data Collection Methods

  • Surveys or questionnaires



For More Information

Bullinger, L. R., Marcus, S., Reuben, K., Whitaker, D., & Self‐Brown, S. (2022). Evaluating child maltreatment and family violence risk during the COVID‐19 Pandemic: Using a telehealth home visiting program as a conduit to families. Infant Mental Health Journal, 43(1), 143–158. https://doi.org/10.1002/imhj.21968
Author Contact Information:
Lindsey Rose Bullinger


  • Participant Characteristics