Exhibit I

Indicators Distinguishing Families in Acute Crisis from Those in Chronic Crisis

Acute Crisis –
Parents Fundamentally Able To Cope but Temporarily Overwhelmed
Chronic Crisis –
Parents with Continual and Serious Child-Rearing Difficulties
  • Major crisis or series of crises
  • History of adequate child care
  • Regular employment
  • Sufficient income and skills
  • Emotional support from friends and relatives
  • Average problem-solving abilities
  • Generally good physical health, minimal use of illegal substances, and essentially no illegal activity
  • Adequate education and housing that allow for individual space and organization of belongings
  • Intimacy is non-sexualized
  • Acceptance of differences of opinion
  • Family members understand and accept their respective roles
  • Generally good mental health
  • Likely to be cooperative with genuinely supportive child protection personnel, welcoming offers of help
  • Likely to regain ability to solve problems themselves when crisis has passed
  • Constantly in stressful situation or crisis
  • Little parenting knowledge
  • Limited education/vocational opportunities and skills
  • Poverty
  • Extreme social isolation
  • Little support from relatives or community
  • Poor problem-solving skills; blame others
  • Ill health, substance abuse, drug dealing, legal problems, physical handicap
  • Overcrowded or run down housing, cluttered areas, economically disadvantaged
  • Prostitution, sex abuse, abuse between adults
  • Social, racial, or cultural discrimination
  • Poorly defined role boundaries in the family
  • Chronic mental illness or character
  • Distrustful of professional helpers
  • A new crisis arises, even though there is relief from a previous crisis

* Adapted from Crisis Intervention: A Manual for Child Protective Workers, by R. Borgman, M. Edmunds, and R. MacDicken, U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect, 1979, p. 7.