Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Children and Schools


Academic Performance, program evaluation, child abuse survivors, social work


Many victims of childhood maltreatment experience difficulties in school and with academic performance. This article reviews the evidence on the connection between child- hood maltreatment and school performance and presents an evaluation of a unique program established by Children's Services in Lorain County, Ohio. Since 2001, the School Success Program, in collaboration with 18 Ohio public school districts, has provided individual tutoring and mentoring by certified teachers to 615 maltreated children and youths, working closely with the whole family in an in-home setting. Most children and youths in the program have progressed to their appropriate grade level while improving overall grade point averages from 1.74 to 2.56 in core academic subjects. Program participants have shown one-year improvements that are significant when compared with those of their nonmaltreated peers: Basic reading and comprehension skills improved 58 percent; math reasoning and comprehension skills improved 50 percent; basic writing skills improved 48 percent; and overall academic skills improved 51 percent. These improvements were seen across both gender and race, with almost equal gains made by minority and nonminority children and youths, but particularly by boys. Implications for school social work practice are set forth in light of these promising results.

Publication Status