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NCJ Number: 48974 Find in a Library
Title: PROBLEMS OF COMMUNICATION AND CO-ORDINATION (FROM CONCERNING CHILD ABUSE, 1975, BY ALFRED WHITE FRANKLIN SEE NCJ-26797)
Author(s): T E OPPE
Corporate Author: Churchill Livingstone
United Kingdom
Date Published: 1975
Page Count: 7
Sponsoring Agency: Churchill Livingstone
Edinburgh, Scotland
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: THE PROBLEMS OF RECOGNITION, JUDGMENT, AND ACTION IN CHILD ABUSE CASES ARE CONSIDERED WITH REGARD TO INTERACTION AMONG VARIOUS AGENCIES AND COORDINATION OF THEIR EFFORTS.
Abstract: THE INTERACTING SURFACES INVOLVED IN THE BATTERED CHILD SYNDROME CASES ARE THE LAW, MEDICINE, AND THE SOCIAL SERVICES. ACCORDING TO THE LAW, IF CHILD ABUSE IS A CRIMINAL ACT, THEN ITS OCCURRENCE SHOULD BE FOLLOWED BY INVESTIGATION AND PROSECUTION OF THE PARENT. THIS IS INCOMPATIBLE WITH WHAT DOCTORS AND SOCIAL WORKERS BELIEVE TO BE GOOD MANAGEMENT. ALSO THE CIVIL AND STATUTE LAW REGARDING PARENTAL RIGHTS AND DUTIES AND THE OBLIGATION OF THE LOCAL AUTHORITIES TO ENSURE THE PROTECTION AND WELL-BEING OF THE CHILDREN CAN CAUSE CONFLICT. DOCTORS AND SOCIAL WORKERS FEEL THAT THE BURDEN OF EVIDENCE BEFORE GRANTING CARE ORDERS IS TOO GREAT TO CARRY OUT PREVENTIVE OR PROTECTIVE FUNCTIONS ADEQUATELY. SOCIAL WORK AGENCIES ARE DISTURBED BY THE MEDICAL ASPECTS, SINCE THEY CONSIDER THEMSELVES AS CARETAKERS OF THE WHOLE PERSON AND WANT TO DIRECT THE RESOURCES REQUIRED TO DEAL WITH ALL SOCIAL PROBLEMS. DOCTORS WIELD STRONG INDIVIDUAL POWER AND ARE USUALLY ACCOUNTABLE ONLY TO THEMSELVES. THE HEALTH VISITOR HAS STATUTORY POWERS TO VISIT FAMILIES AND IS OFTEN EXPECTED TO SUPERVISE THE FAMILIES IN WHICH A CHILD IS AT SPECIAL RISK OF DISEASE, DEPRIVATION, OR ABUSE. HEALTH VISITORS MUST OFTEN WORK WITH INSUBSTANTIAL DATA AND CAN SELDOM EXPECT CONCRETE RESULTS. THE POLICE, MAGISTRATES, AND JUSTICES ARE PRIMARILY CONCERNED WITH FACTUAL, OBJECTIVE EVIDENCE WHICH MUST OFTEN BE SUPPLIED BY DOCTORS AND SOCIAL WORKERS. THE BATTERED CHILD SYNDROME IS AN AREA OF JOURNALISTIC ACTIVITY, AND PUBLICITY OF A CASE CAN HAVE ADVERSE EFFECTS ON DECISIONMAKING AND JUDGMENT. MANAGEMENT PROBLEMS RELATING TO IDENTIFICATION OF AN ABUSED CHILD, ACTION TO BE TAKEN AFTER IDENTIFICATION, AND THE APPROACHES TO BE TAKEN BY SOCIAL WORKERS ARE DISCUSSED. VOLUNTARY ORGANIZATIONS HAVE BEEN DEVELOPED IN BRITAIN WHICH DETECT, DEFINE AND PUBLICIZE DEFICIENCIES IN CHILD ABUSE CASES AND ACT TO PROVIDE THE MISSING SERVICES. THEY COME INTO INEVITABLE CONFLICT WITH ORGANIZED AGENCIES DEALING WITH CHILD ABUSE. IT IS OBVIOUS THAT THE TEMPERAMENT, PERSONALITY, AND ATTITUDES OF THE DECISIONMAKER AND THE THERAPIST ARE OF IMPORTANCE IN DETERMINING BOTH THE OUTCOME OF A CHILD ABUSE CASE AND THE NATURE OF THE RELATIONSHIPS OF THE INVOLVED PERSONNEL. THESE FACTORS ARE NOT MEASURABLE, BUT MUST BE UNDERSTOOD IN TRYING TO COORDINATE SERVICES AND FACILITATE COMMUNICATION BETWEEN AGENCIES. (DAG)
Index Term(s): Child abuse; Interagency cooperation; Legal aid services; Management; Medical and dental services; Social work
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