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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 120879 Find in a Library
Title: Legal Issues in Managing Child Abuse Programs: An Attorney's Perspective
Author(s): D W Lloyd
Date Published: Unknown
Page Count: 5
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
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Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
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NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Legal issues involved in child abuse programs established in children's hospitals relate to psychological concerns as well as program management concerns.
Abstract: Psychological considerations, such as informed consent, evaluations to be used in litigation, child abuse reporting laws, the limits of confidentiality, and liability for negligence interact daily with issues that impact on the success of the program such as hospital procedures for evidence collection and clinical interviewing, interagency protocols between the program and relevant public health agencies, relationships between the program staff and the attorneys involved in the cases, and a quality assurance program to minimize the risk of liability to the hospital. In developing a protocol outlining the hospital's standard of care, the child abuse program staff should consult the hospital's attorney as the document will be relevant in claims of negligence in failing to report child maltreatment or in inappropriately reporting situations that were not maltreatment. Similar standardization of interviewing procedures would minimize allegations that the program staff was biased or leading the child into making false accusations. A quality assurance program would ensure that the staff adheres to the protocols in all cases. The child protection unit should assist other hospital units in determining what behavior can be reasonably classified as child abuse or neglect. Similarly, the unit can act as liaison between child protective service and law enforcement agencies and the hospital professional and administrative staff. Finally, the unit staff must be knowledgeable about their jurisdiction's laws regulating confidentiality.
Main Term(s): Child abuse treatment
Index Term(s): Child abuse reporting statutes; Confidential records access; Legal liability
Note: Paper presented at convention of the American Psychological Association, New York, New York, August 29, 1987
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