Child maltreatment online education for healthcare and social service providers: Implications for the COVID-19 context and beyond
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Evidence indicates that healthcare and social service providers (HSSPs) receive inadequate education related to recognizing and responding to child maltreatment. This is despite the fact HSSPs are identified as an important factor in the primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention of this childhood exposure. The need for online education for HSSPs' is highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions and will continue to be relevant afterward. The objective of this commentary is to provide an overview of: (a) educational interventions for HSSPs' related to recognizing and responding to child maltreatment; (b) the development of VEGA (Violence, Evidence, Guidance, Action), which is an online platform of educational resources to support HSSPs to recognize and respond to child maltreatment; and (c) the RISE (Researching the Impact of Service provider Education) project, which is an ongoing multi-province evaluation of VEGA in Canada. It is important to consider ongoing ways that HSSPs can receive education related to recognizing and responding to child maltreatment. The virtual implementation of VEGA and the RISE Project provide a necessary opportunity to continue to increase the capacity of Canada's HSSPs to adequately and safely recognize and respond to child maltreatment, while simultaneously advancing education scholarship for the field of child maltreatment and which will have relevance for the COVID-19 context and beyond.
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