Interdisciplinary Team Coordination in Abuse Cases
A number of different helping professionals are typically involved with the child-abusive family. As we saw in Chapter 1, the manner in which a parent is first identified as abusive and enters the social or child welfare “system” is usually multidisciplinary in nature: physicians or other medical staff often make the initial judgment that an injury is nonaccidental, welfare caseworkers investigate the family, judicial personnel evaluate child welfare needs and make decisions related to the child’s safety, and mental health professionals (including psychologists, social workers, and family counselors) provide ongoing treatment to the family. Even after the family’s identification and entry into the intervention system, other consultations take place among the various professionals involved with the case: courts periodically have hearings to review information about the family’s intervention and overall progress in reducing conditions of risk to the child; caseworkers need information from the therapist regarding the family’s progress in treatment; physicians may be called upon to evaluate the child’s physical condition from time to time; and specialized social service resources for the family may need to be obtained (such as child care, public assistance, and employment assistance).
KeywordsChild Abuse Child Welfare Abuse Case Child Welfare Agency Welfare Department
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