There are now many scholars, researchers and professionals in Italy concerned with child maltreatment and abuse – psychologists, doctors, judges, teachers, social workers, police, lawyers, etc., who, in their different professional fields and with their differing perspectives, come into daily contact with the problems of maltreated children requiring protective intervention. The subject raises many issues as well as theoretical and operational problems: how to prevent the onset of abuse; how to identify and record it; how to protect children; how to treat them; how to deal with the family crisis underlying the violence in order to safeguard, where possible, the rights of the child and parents to rebuild positive affective links; how to adopt adequate measures in cases where the original family is unable to look after the children. However, it is not just a question of knowing how to construct multi-disciplinary strategies which require the contribution and constant collaboration of different professionals and services, rather, it is, above all, about acquiring analytical tools and theoretical models in order to give sense and meaning to operational practices. Following the example of developments in European and extra-European contexts, Italy is witnessing a progressive development in empirical research, experimentation and clinical analysis across the various disciplines. The need to unify and provide a voice, in the form of a scientific and multi-disciplinary journal, to the analysis and work of the many Italian scholars, whilst also offering a forum for comparison and debate, are the reasons for the journal Maltrattamento e abuso all’infanzia.
The intention is to cover scientifically important themes and to supply information on more advanced intervention techniques that can be used by professionals across various fields. The journal has been organized in such a way as to give space in every issue to a specific theme which constitutes the Focus section. We also envisage a section "Research, essays, review" to host scientific work on various subjects. The section "Brief reports: Research notes, Experiences, Law and relevant Documentation" will occasionally propose brief research reports based on the experiences of work groups, teams and services, as well as documents and laws to stimulate reflection on significant topics in the legal field, new legislative initiatives and laws already in force. The following are consistent with the outlook of the journal: work based on reviews of the literature; original quantitative empirical research; research based on meta-analysis; original qualitative contributions; presentations of models and theories; comments; critical reviews.