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Unexplained Injury

NCJ Number
Date Published
0 pages
Using actual professionals, this Canadian film shows how cooperation between school, police, hospital, and the Children's Aid Society can determine a favorable outcome in a case of child abuse.
The core drama, shown in this film and intended for use with each of six additional specialized films, begins with the 5-year-old child suffering an asthmatic episode at night as he often does. His mother gets up, loses her temper, and lashes out. No one hears. The film then details a series of critical incidents defined as the point in a child abuse case when the professional may have a decisive influence on the case outcome. These include a teacher's telephone call to the public health nurse about the abused child Kenny's asthma; a visit by the public health nurse to Kenny's home where she persuades Kenny's mother to take him to the hospital; and a confrontation between Kenny's parents and a doctor who lets them know he must involve the Children's Aid worker, finding parental admission of difficulty with Kenny, places him in temporary care and persuades the parents to seek help with their problems. The film also defines child abuse, discusses the legal requirement to report child abuse, and suggests some possible reasons for child abuse including parental experience of abuse in childhood. In addition, the importance of interdisciplinary cooperation in determining a successful outcome to child abuse cases is emphasized.