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Treatment for Abused and Neglected Children

NCJ Number
H P Martin
Date Published
90 pages
Designed for use by child protective services (CPS) workers, the manual focuses on meeting the medical, emotional, environmental, developmental, and psychological needs of abused or neglected children.
The manual directs CPS workers to the first need of abused or physically neglected children -- medical care for both immediate and suspected injuries and for other medical problems which may be found in abused children, such as inadequate immunization, hearing defects, infection, inadequate growth or nutrition, dental health problems, impaired vision, and congenital anomalies. The CPS worker is then instructed to attend to the second most important treatment for these children -- finding a safe place for them to live. Options which are discussed include leaving the child in the biological home with supervision from CPS workers, using homemaker services or parent aides, providing part-time alternate care, hospitalization, foster care, residential care, and adoption. A major emphasis of the manual is on treatment of the common developmental and psychological problems of abused or neglected children. Guidelines are provided for assessment and screening for such problems, and both general and specific treatments are explored. The manual also addresses the need to coordinate the treatment of abusive and neglectful parents with their childrens' treatment. Such treatment is seen as an indirect form of intervention for the child in that it is aimed at meeting specific needs of the parents so that they might then be able to change their parenting behavior. Finally, the harmful effects of therapeutic procedures on the abused or neglected child are considered, and guidelines are offered to minimize these effects. A list of tests used to assess development, speech, and language and about 30 references are appended. Footnotes and tables are also provided.