Positive impact of social work intervention in pediatric primary care

Feb 6, 2013

The February 5th issue of Annals of Internal Medicine features an article that cites positive outcomes for the Baltimore-based SEEK Project (Safe Environment for Every Kid).  Sponsored by the University of Maryland Medical Center, the SEEK project integrates professional social workers into pediatric primary care clinics, to conduct child abuse identification and prevention efforts.   A randomized research trial of the SEEK program compared outcomes for an intervention group  – families who received social work services  – and a control group of families who received services from a human services worker.

Compared with the control group, families in the intervention group experienced:

  • fewer reports to child protective service (CPS) agencies
  • fewer episodes of severe or very severe physical assault
  • fewer instances of non-adherence to medical care; and
  • fewer delays in immunizations

This study adds to the growing body of research indicating the value of professional social work intervention with vulnerable populations. It also demonstrates the importance of integrating social work services into primary care.

For more information:

Behavioral Interventions and Counseling to Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect: A Systematic Review to Update the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation (Annals, 2013)


Children at Risk: Optimizing Health in an Era of Reform (NASW, 2012)


Child Abuse Prevention Month

Child Abuse Prevention Month

April Ferguson LCSW-C Senior Practice Associate Children and Adolescents April 2024 The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) acknowledges April as Child Abuse Prevention Month. The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) defines child abuse and...

Salute Your Graduate with an NASW Press Book Gift

Salute Your Graduate with an NASW Press Book Gift

The NASW Code of Ethics is a set of standards that guide the professional conduct of social workers. The 2021 update includes language that addresses the importance of professional self-care. Moreover, revisions to the Cultural Competence standard provide more...