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NCJ Number: 202742 Find in a Library
Title: Risk Assessment for Family Court: Advantages and Disadvantages in Using Community-Based Family Intervention for Child Sexual Abuse Risk Assessments
Author(s): Christabel Chamarette
Date Published: May 2003
Page Count: 5
Sponsoring Agency: Australian Institute of Criminology
Canberra ACT, 2601, Australia
Sale Source: Australian Institute of Criminology
GPO Box 2944
Canberra ACT, 2601,
Document: PDF
Type: Conference Material; Program/Project Description
Format: Document (Online)
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: This paper describes and assesses the work of SafeCare, an Australian counseling and support service for families in which child sexual abuse is an issue, regarding risk assessment for such abuse in the context of the Family Court's legal/adversarial system.
Abstract: SafeCare, which has been operating since 1989, provides counseling, support, and group therapy to child sexual abuse offenders who acknowledge their offending and voluntarily enter treatment. Therapeutic services are also provided to the victim and other family members. Occasionally the parties attending SafeCare are involved in Family Court proceedings, and the child representative or lawyer for one of the parties requests that SafeCare conduct a risk assessment. Some of the benefits of a risk assessment in the context of a therapeutic program are more detailed diagnostic observations and an assessment of progress in treatment, the use of a team approach in the assessment of each family member, the monitoring of the response of children to supervised or unsupervised contact with the offending parent, and therapeutic intervention and mediation with couples. The difficulties encountered by SafeCare in conducting risk assessments for the Family Court include lack of time and resources, lawyers' perception of conflict of interest due to the assessment of all family members, and the perception that the approach is too subjective and is inappropriate in the context of a treatment regimen. The benefits and difficulties of the SafeCare approach to risk assessment for Family Court are still emerging; however, it does hold promise for improvement in risk assessment and the protection of children.
Main Term(s): Juvenile victims
Index Term(s): Child abuse investigations; Child abuse treatment; Child custody; Children at risk; Court procedures; Family courts; Foreign courts; Victimization risk
Note: Paper presented at the Child Sexual Abuse: Justice Response or Alternative Resolution Conference held in Adelaide, Australia, May 1-2, 2003; Downloaded November 6, 2003.
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