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A Coordinated Response to Child Abuse and Neglect: The Foundation for Practice
Office on Child Abuse and Neglect, Children's Bureau. Goldman, J., Salus, M. K., Wolcott, D., Kennedy, K. Y.|
|Year Published: 2003|
Chapter One: Purpose and Overview
Child abuse and neglect is a community concern. Each community has a legal and moral obligation to promote the safety, permanency, and well-being of children, which includes responding effectively to child maltreatment. At the State and local levels, professionals assume various roles and responsibilities ranging from prevention, identification, and reporting of child maltreatment to intervention, assessment, and treatment. Child protective services (CPS) agencies, along with law enforcement, play a central role in receiving and investigating reports of child maltreatment. To protect children from harm, CPS also relies on community members to identify and report suspected cases of child maltreatment, including physical abuse, name="sexualabuse"sexual abuse, neglect, and psychological maltreatment. Many community professionals (including health care providers, mental health professionals, educators, and legal and court system personnel) are involved in responding to child abuse and neglect and providing needed services. In addition, community-based agency staff, substance abuse treatment providers, domestic violence victim advocates, clergy, extended family members, and concerned citizens also play important roles in supporting families and keeping children safe.
This manual—the first in the series—provides an overview of the problem of child abuse and neglect and the prevention and intervention processes. It describes not only the activities involved in child protection, but also the roles and responsibilities of various community members in conducting these activities and working collaboratively. It is intended to provide the basic information that professionals and the public need to become involved in, and enhance, their community's response to child maltreatment. While the manual is comprehensive in scope and touches on major issues, it cannot reflect all the detailed information related to this complex problem. It is intended, therefore, as a starting point.
This manual answers the following 10 questions:
- What are the philosophical tenets of child protection?
- What is child maltreatment?
- What is the scope of the problem?
- What factors contribute to abuse and neglect?
- What are the consequences of abuse and neglect?
- What can be done to prevent abuse and neglect?
- Which laws and policies guide public intervention in child maltreatment?
- What does the child protection process look like?
- Who should be involved in child protection at the community level?
- How can organizations work together to protect children?
This material may be freely reproduced and distributed. However, when doing so, please credit Child Welfare Information Gateway.