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NCJ Number: 62882 Find in a Library
Title: MALTREATED CHILDREN OF OUR TIMES
Journal: VILLANOVA LAW REVIEW  Volume:23  Issue:3  Dated:(MARCH 1978)  Pages:448-457
Author(s): V J FONTANA
Corporate Author: Villanova University
School of Law
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 10
Sponsoring Agency: Villanova University
Villanova, PA 19085
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE SCOPE, NATURE, AND CAUSES OF CHILD ABUSE ARE DISCUSSED, AND LEGISLATION AND A MULTIDISCIPLINARY TREATMENT APPROACH ARE DESCRIBED.
Abstract: NATIONWIDE SURVEYS OF HOSPITALS AND LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES WITHIN THE 1960'S AND 1970'S HAVE SHOWN THE HIGH INCIDENCE OF CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT. SYMPTOMS OF ABUSE INCLUDE A HISTORY OF FAILURE TO THRIVE, POOR SKIN HYGIENE, MALNUTRITION, IRRITABILITY, A REPRESSED PERSONALITY, AND OTHER SIGNS OF OBVIOUS PARENTAL NEGLECT. THE MORE SEVERELY ABUSED CHILDREN ARE SEEN IN THE EMERGENCY ROOM OF HOSPITALS WITH EXTERNAL EVIDENCES OF BATTERING. THE LIVES OF ABUSING PARENTS ARE USUALLY MARKED WITH DIVORCE, PARAMOUR RELATIONSHIPS, ALCOHOLISM, FINANCIAL STRESS, POOR HOUSING CONDITIONS, RECURRING MENTAL ILLNESS, MENTAL RETARDATION, AND DRUG ADDICTION. THE PARENTS' ABUSING BEHAVIOR APPEARS ROOTED IN THEIR OWN CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCES OF ABUSE. THE PHYSICIAN'S RESPONSIBILITY IN SUSPECTED CASES OF CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT SHOULD INCLUDE: (1) MAKING A DIAGNOSIS OF MALTREATMENT; (2) INTERVENTION AND ADMISSION OF THE CHILD TO THE HOSPITAL; (3) ASSESSMENT, INCLUDING A HISTORY, PHYSICAL EXAMINATION, SKELETAL SURVEY, AND PHOTOGRAPHS; (4) REPORTING OF A CASE TO THE APPROPRIATE DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES AND CHILD PROTECTIVE UNIT OF CENTRAL REGISTRY; (5) REQUESTING OF A SOCIAL WORKER REPORT AND APPROPRIATE SURGICAL AND MEDICAL CONSULTATIONS; (6) CONFERENCE WITHIN 72 HOURS WITH MEMBERS OF THE MEDICAL CENTER'S CHILD ABUSE COMMITTEE; (7) ARRANGING A PROGRAM OF CARE FOR CHILD AND PARENT; AND (8) SOCIAL SERVICE FOLLOWUP. A MULTIDISCIPLINARY TEAM OF PSYCHIATRIST, PSYCHOLOGIST, PSYCHIATRIC SOCIAL WORKER, PEDIATRICIAN, NURSE, CHILD CARE WORKER, HOUSE MOTHERS, AND PARAPROFESSIONALS CAN COORDINATE THEIR SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE IN PROVIDING TREATMENT, REHABILITATION, AND PREVENTIVE MEASURES THROUGH THE DEMONSTRATION OF HOW TO 'MOTHER' WHILE 'BEING MOTHERED.' THE PURPOSES OF CHILD ABUSE LAWS ARE USUALLY (1) TO PROTECT THE PARENTS WHEN PRESENTED WITH INVALID EVIDENCE, (2) TO PROTECT THE CHILD BY MAKING IT MANDATORY FOR PHYSICIANS TO REPORT SUSPECTED CASES OF MALTREATMENT, AND (3) TO PROTECT THE PHYSICIAN INVOLVED FROM DAMAGE SUITS BY PARENTS SUSPECTED OF CHILD ABUSE. FOOTNOTES ARE PROVIDED. (RCB)
Index Term(s): Child abuse; Child abuse detection; Child abuse situation remedies; Child protection services; Legislation
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=62882

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