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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 237902 Find in a Library
Title: Shifting Definitions of Emotional Maltreatment: An Analysis Child Welfare Investigation Laws and Practices in Canada
Journal: Child Abuse & Neglect  Volume:35  Issue:10  Dated:October 2011  Pages:831-840
Author(s): Nico Trocme; Barbara Fallon; Bruce MacLaurin; Claire Chamberland; Martin Chabot; Tonino Esposito
Date Published: October 2011
Page Count: 10
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper examines the laws and practices of Canadian child welfare officials in investigations of child emotional maltreatment.
Abstract: This review of Canadian laws and practices dealing with the problem of child emotional maltreatment found that emotional maltreatment (EM) is a form of reportable maltreatment in all provincial and territorial statutes in Canada. The review also found that in 2008, over 11,000 cases of EM were substantiated by child welfare officials at a rate of 1.86 per 1,000 children, and that while this rate was low compared to other forms of maltreatment, a higher proportion of EM cases were referred for specialized services and kept open for on-going child welfare services. In addition, when more specific definitions of EM were used by officials, fewer cases were investigated for suspected incidences of EM, but instead were classified as being at risk for future maltreatment. This paper examines the laws and practices of Canadian child welfare officials in investigations of child emotional maltreatment. The authors examined legislative framework for EM across Canada, as well as EM investigations reported in 1998, 2003, and 2008. The review found that across all provinces and territories, officials respond to EM with the same level of perseverance as other forms of maltreatment, yet more work needs to be done on the feasibility of distinguishing between actual incidences of EM and family problems that place children at risk for future maltreatment. Study limitations are discussed. Tables, figure, and references
Main Term(s): Child emotional abuse and neglect
Index Term(s): Abused children; Abusing parents; Canada; Child abuse; Child abuse detection; Child abuse investigations; Child abuse treatment; Child protection services; Child victims; Children at risk; Neglectful parents; Parental influence
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