European Epidemiology of Child Abuse and Neglect (Euro-CAN)

Welsh Partners

Public Health Wales

International Partners


South East Region
WHO Region
Country of intervention
Ireland, Netherlands, Sweden, United Kingdom
Project Focus
Child Development, Children and Young People
About the project

European Epidemiology of Child Abuse and Neglect (Euro-CAN) was set up in 2015. It is a multidisciplinary collaboration between four European countries (The United Kingdom,  Ireland, Sweden and the Netherlands) conducting research into child abuse and neglect.


  • Seek funding to enhance European research capacity into CP.
  • Determine the referral criteria, prevalence rates, characteristics, risk factors, short and long term outcomes of CAN across different European regions.
  • Identify the regional and inter country variations in preventative initiatives, national standards, and models of care and policy changes in the four  countries
  • Determine what impact these regional and inter country variations have on CAN prevalence, short and long term outcomes
  • Create the best medical care pathway on CAN
What does your project involve?

Euro-CAN is currently developing and implementing 'The Vignette Study' between four European countries to evaluate variation in clinical practice in child protection (CP) medical assessments and interventions.

This includes the following research themes (i) Epidemiology of CAN in Europe (ii) Comparison of child protection medical investigations in these countries (iii) the development, piloting and implementation of a standardised data collection (SDC) tool and to collect a minimum dataset (MDS) and (iv) developing, piloting, and validating clinical decision rules for subsequent scaling up for use across all European Union countries as well as (v) multi-disciplinary and multi-agency collaboration and innovation in CAN with partners in social care, education, law enforcement agencies and healthcare.

Why are you working there?

A concept note has been submitted to the Wellcome Trust: Collaborative Award in Science. Currently responding to advice to modify the collaborative bid with view to submission of preliminary application in August 2017.

Key outcomes

CAN-Care: child abuse and neglect, health, well-being and education outcomes is a multi-centre data-linkage study in Cardiff and Edinburgh. This study aims to take a mixed methods approach to explore the social determinants of health and education outcomes in two cohorts of children (< 18 years of age), referred for suspected CAN to paediatric services in Cardiff and Vale University Health Board (UHB) (2004-2015) and the Edinburgh child protection paediatric team (1996-2014).

Objectives of Euro-CAN  :

  • To set up cross-country teams in the four identified Euro-CAN member countries (Sweden, Ireland, The Netherlands and the UK)
  • To undertake a comparative vignette survey among a cross-section of medical professionals engaged in child protection in Sweden, Ireland, the UK and The Netherlands between April and July 2016 on different medical practices in child maltreatment assessments.
  • To develop a standardized data collection tool with a minimum dataset on the best medical evaluation of child maltreatment
  • To develop the research collaborative agenda with SAIL in Swansea University with a view to data linkage studies in association with the Euro-CAN collaborative