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Assessment Process of a Child Protection Team (From The Battered Child, P 127-136, 1987, Ray E Helfer and Ruth S Kempe, eds. -- See NCJ-111195)

NCJ Number
R Krugman
Date Published
10 pages
This paper describes the composition and organization of the Colorado University Hospital child protection team, which has met weekly since 1958 to review cases of suspected or known child abuse and neglect that have been identified in the inpatient or outpatient services of the hospital; the reasons for having such a team; and the process used to gather data and make assessments.
The multidisciplinary team discusses only those cases that are either complex or the focus of disagreement among professionals (about 10 percent of the hospital's abuse-and-neglect cases). The team consists of a social worker, who evaluates the safety of the homes and recommends treatment strategies for the families; a physician, who is the primary diagnostician and is also the contact person for other physicians in the hospital and community who need assistance in assessing suspected cases of abuse or neglect; and the team coordinator, who is the case manager and the contact person for the county agencies, police, physicians, families, and hospital professionals dealing with the cases. Some of the factors examined in assessment are discrepancies between parental accounts of child injuries and physician observations, delay in seeking care, parental stress, triggering child behavior or characteristics, history of abuse in a parent's childhood, and unrealistic parental expectations of the child. The paper also suggests how an individual physician assessing a case of possible child abuse or neglect can obtain assistance. 4 references.