A Pilot Study of the Value of the Observation Tool for Child Safety, using inter-rater agreement (2.5-6 years, Dutch version) in the Netherlands
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Introduction. In the Netherlands, no evidence-based instrument exists to screen for child abuse between 2.5-6 years. The new German Observation Tool for Child Safety was translated to Dutch and its value for judging abuse cases researched in this pilot study. Inter-rater reliability was calculated. Definition of child abuse: physical, emotional and sexual abuse and neglect. Methods. Playschool and early education center employees (n = 10) were randomly assigned to 2 conditions, only one group using the Observation Tool to judge whether a child in a vignette was in being abused. Their judgement was compared to that of more experienced child care advisors (n = 5). Results. Outcomes of a binomial and a one-sample t-test were non-significant. However, Cohen’s κ showed higher agreement between condition 1 and care advisors than condition 2 and care advisors. Inter-rater reliability was low. Conclusion. The Observation Tool might improve non-professional judging of child abuse cases, but training participants to improve inter-rater reliability and more research with larger sample sizes and real children are suggested.