Family needs checklist: development of a mobile application for parents with children to assess the risk for child maltreatment

Heidi Rantanen*, Irja Nieminen, Marja Kaunonen, Emmanuelle Jouet, Lidia Zabłocka-Żytka, Giovanni Viganò, Cristina Crocamo, Henrike Schecke, Giedre Zlatkute, Eija Paavilainen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Child maltreatment (CM) has been enormously studied. However, a preventive practice still requires comprehensive and effective instruments to assess the risks for CM in a family context. The aim of this study is to describe the development process of an evidence-based CM risk assessment instrument (Family Needs Checklist, FNC) for primary prevention online utilization. This article reports the development process of the checklist and its mobile application, consisting of a systematic literature review, identification of known risk factors using the content analysis method, and generation of the checklist, including a multidisciplinary group in the design and feedback. As a result, a comprehensive and compact checklist was developed to be used by parents or caregivers as a self-referral instrument with an option to be used with professionals as a basis for joint conversations. The FNC consists of parental, family-, and child-related risk factors. Based on the international evidence, the online application consists of knowledge about different CM types, information about risk factors and protective factors as well as recommendations and guidance to support services. The FNC is based on robust evidence on known risk factors causing CM in families. It can be used for primary prevention utilization in the general population.
Original languageEnglish
Article number9810
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 9 Aug 2022


  • Child maltreatment
  • Risk assessment
  • Primary prevention
  • Early identification
  • Family
  • Checklist
  • e-health
  • Mobile health
  • Mobile application
  • Digital health application


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