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NCJ Number: 200202 Find in a Library
Title: Working with the Nonoffending Caregiver
Journal: Sex Offender Law Report  Volume:4  Issue:3  Dated:April/May 2003  Pages:35,38
Author(s): Susanne M. Walters
Date Published: April 2003
Page Count: 2
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article describes how to help nonoffending caregivers provide the support that their children need.
Abstract: In the early years of child protective services, it was assumed that the nonoffending caregiver was just as culpable as the offender in cases of child abuse. The reasoning was that they must have known about the abuse but did not stop it. More research, however, led to the conclusion that not all nonoffending parents realize their child is being victimized. As such, it is important to work with the nonoffending caregiver (usually the mother) so that they can offer support to their child during the investigation and court process. Research has indicated that support from a loving caregiver can significantly lessen the experience of trauma by the child. The author describes what type of reactions mothers might have when a disclosure of child abuse occurs, including denial and guilt. Many caregivers may have been abused themselves as children and, thus, react strongly to a disclosure of child abuse. Tips on how to help caregivers meet their own needs are offered, such as providing support group information. It is imperative that the relationship between the mother and the child is observed so that correct action can be taken if the relationship is observed to be deleterious to the child. Notifying child protective agencies in the case that the relationship is viewed as negative for the child is suggested as the best course of action. Removal from the home altogether may be warranted. However, in most cases mothers are able to be supportive caregivers and should be supported in their role of protector for their child.
Main Term(s): Child abuse
Index Term(s): Parental attitudes; Parental influence; Reactions to crime
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