Journal Article

Professionals’ digital training for child maltreatment prevention in the COVID-19 era: A pan-European model


The responsiveness of professionals working with children and families is of key importance for child maltreatment early identification. However, this might be undermined when multifaceted circumstances, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, reduce interdisciplinary educational activities. Thanks to technological developments, digital platforms seem promising in dealing with new challenges for professionals’ training. We examined a digital approach to child maltreatment training through the ERICA project experience (Stopping Child Maltreatment through Pan-European Multiprofessional Training Programme). ERICA has been piloted during the pandemic in seven European centers involving interconnected sectors of professionals working with children and families. The training consisted of interactive modules embedded in a digital learning framework. Different aspects (technology, interaction, and organization) were evaluated and trainers’ feedback on digital features was sought. Technical issues were the main barrier, however, these did not significantly disrupt the training. The trainers perceived reduced interaction between participants, although distinct factors were uncovered as potential favorable mediators. Based on participants’ subjective experiences and perspectives, digital learning frameworks for professionals working with children and families (such as the ERICA model nested in its indispensable adaptation to an e-learning mode) can represent a novel interactive approach to empower trainers and trainees to tackle child maltreatment during critical times such as a pandemic, and as an alternative to more traditional learning frameworks.

Attached files


Crocamo, Cristina
Bachi, Bianca
Cioni, Riccardo M.
Schecke, Henrike
Nieminen, Irja
Zabłocka-Żytka, Lidia
Małgorzata Woźniak-Prus,
Bartoli, Francesco
Riboldi, Ilaria
Appleton, Jane V.
Bekaert, Sarah
Zlatkute, Giedre
Jouet, Emmanuelle
Viganò, Giovanni
Specka, Michael
Scherbaum, Norbert
Paavilainen, Eija
Baldacchino, Alexander
Carrà, Giuseppe

Oxford Brookes departments

Department of Nursing


Year of publication: 2022
Date of RADAR deposit: 2022-01-24

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

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