ISPCAN’s goal with ICAST is to provide a method to make reported incidence of all forms of violence against children more accurate and more representative of the true scope of the problem. Research instruments that measure child maltreatment are significant tools in preventing child abuse and neglect globally. It is our hope that the use of these tools will result in policies and programs that promote child protection and in curricula adaptation for general and continuing professional education. Most child abuse research to date has been conducted in affluent, western countries.
A significant barrier to research worldwide has been a lack of suitable tools to use in local surveys with children and young people. It is hoped that these tools will remove this barrier. It is also envisioned that the availability of a common tool will enable systematic comparison of data across cultures, time or between research groups even when such groups operate within the same country or use the same language.
With the support of the Oak Foundation, ISPCAN collaborated with UNICEF, the UN Secretary General’s Study on Violence against Children, the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights, and the World Health Organization (WHO) to create the ICAST. The tools were designed by international experts, reviewed by more than 100 professionals from different countries using a Delphi process, field tested in 8 countries, and refined. Since then, ICAST has been translated and tested in at least 20 languages.
The first parent and young adult questionnaires were field tested in Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, India, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Malaysia, and Russia. The children’s questionnaire was field tested in Colombia, India, Russia, and Iceland. The questionnaires were translated into multiple languages and incorporate refinements based on feedback from translators and back-translators.
Three articles on validity of the instruments were published in Child Abuse & Neglect: The International Journal.
ISPCAN is very grateful to the immensely valuable and dedicated contributions several individuals have made, including those listed below. This project was led by Dr. Desmond Runyan of the Kempe Center for the Prevention and Treatment for Child Abuse and Neglect in the USA as the Special Representative to the NGO Subgroup on the UN Study on Violence Against Children, with the assistance of Dr. Adam Zolotor from the University of North Carolina. The project was coordinated by Dr. Michael Dunne of Queensland University of Technology in Australia.
Mr. Gopalan Balagopal, Senior Adviser, Child Protection, UNICEF, and staff provided continued support from the time the UNICEF grant for the project was initiated. Clemencia Ramirez of Colombia, Dipty Jain of India, Randa Youssef of Egypt, Marcel Tshibangu of DR Congo, Helga Rúna Péturs of Iceland, Nurgul Mamyrova and Inna Andreeva of Kyrgyzstan, Bernard Gerbaka of Lebanon, Sham Kasim of Malaysia and Elena Volkova of Russia and coordinated the field test in each of these countries. Kimberly Svevo and George Palamattam provided ISPCAN support for the project.
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