Role of Mental Health Professionals in the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect NBCC approved

Learning Objectives

After completing this course you’ll be able to:

  1. Discuss the types of mental health professionals who work with neglected and abused children, including their varying professional orientations, education, training, and clinical supervision requirements.
  2. Describe the roles of mental health professionals working with neglected and abused children, such as advocate, educator, consultant, and expert witness.
  3. List some of the responsibilities of mental health professionals, including reporting abuse and neglect, referrals, prevention, training, and establishing quality assurance standards.
  4. Explain specific concepts and terms related to the field of child abuse and neglect, such as physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional/psychological abuse, and neglect.
  5. List recent data concerning the incidence and effects of abuse and neglect.
  6. Distinguish between forensic and clinical evaluations in cases of suspected child abuse and neglect.
  7. Analyze the information to assess suicide risk.
  8. Discuss mental health treatment concepts and issues including intra-familial child sexual abuse treatment, confidentiality, skill building and education, marital therapy, relationship issues, self-help groups, and interacting with the justice system.

Course Contents

  1. Introduction
    • The Mental Health Professional and Child Abuse
    • Mental Health Disciplines and Child Abuse Intervention
    • Psychiatry
    • Psychology
    • Clinical Social Work
    • Psychiatric Nursing
    • Counseling
    • Art Therapy/Expensive Arts Therapy
    • Child Abuse Intervention as a Subspecialty
  2. Roles of Mental health Professionals Working with Abused and Neglected Children and their Families
    • Primary and Secondary Prevention
    • Tertiary Intervention
    • Evaluation and Treatment
    • Advocate
    • Source of Information and Referrals
    • Educator
    • Preparing Clients to Testify in Court
    • Consultant to County or State Departments of Social Services
    • Expert Witness
  3. Responsibilities of the Mental Health Professional
    • Report Child Abuse and Neglect
    • Resistance to Child Abuse Reporting Laws
    • Inappropriate Interventions
    • Whether to Tell the Client that the Mental Health Professional Is Making a Report
    • Refer Children for Medical Evaluations
    • Prevent Sexual Abuse of Child and Adult Clients by Therapists
    • Acquire Knowledge, Skills, and Expertise Through Training
    • Establish Quality Assurance Practices and Standards
    • Participate on a Multidisciplinary Team
  4. How Child Abuse and Neglect are Defined
    • Operational Definitions
    • Physical Abuse
    • Sexual Abuse
    • Emotional/Psychological Abuse
    • Child Neglect
    • Incidence
    • Effects of Child Abuse
    • Contextual and Developmental Factors
    • Physical Abuse
    • Sexual Abuse
    • Neglect
    • Mental Health Evaluations
    • Forensic Evaluations
    • Parents
    • Clinical Evaluations of Children, Parents and Families
    • Assessing Suicidal Risk
    • Behavioral Clues to Suicide
  5. Mental Health Treatment Issues and Models
    • Intrafamilial Child Abuse Treatment
    • Isolation
    • Poor Communication and Ambiguous Boundaries
    • Sexual Distortions
    • Intervention Issues
    • Assessment of the Child’s Immediate and Long-Term Treatment Needs
    • Child’s Safety from Abuse
    • Empowerment of the Nonoffending Parent
    • Management of Sexualized Behavior
    • Skill Building and Education
    • Status of the Intrafamilial Perpetrator
    • Willingness of the Perpetrator to Assume Genuine Responsibility
    • Awareness and Management of Incestuous Thoughts and Behavior
    • Marital Therapy
    • Reestablishment of the Parent-Child Relationship
    • The Comprehensive Sexual Abuse Treatment Program (CSATP)
    • Nonfamilial Child Abuse: Providing Support to Parents
    • Child Physical Abuse Treatment Components
    • Education and Skill Training May Not Be Enough
    • Aggression Management
    • Self-Help Groups
    • Parents Anonymous Model
    • Neglecting Families: Intensive In-home Interventions
  6. Treatment Modalities
    • Dealing with the Justice System
    • Managing the Therapeutic Environment
    • Physical Environment
    • Support Personnel
    • Intervention Issues
    • Confidentiality
    • Release of Information
    • Personal Issues for Mental Health Professionals
    • Countertransference
    • Stress and Burnout
    • Managing Professional and Private Lives
    • Responsibilities of Supervisors, Managers, and Administrators
  7. Caregivers of Young Children: Preventing and Responding to Child Maltreatment
    • Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect
    • State Laws
    • Who Reports
    • Definitions of Child Abuse and Neglect
    • When to Report
    • Where to Report
    • How to Report
    • Local Program Reporting Requirements
    • Local Policies and Procedures for Reporting
    • Difficulties Encountered When Reporting
    • Personal Feelings
    • Program Policies and Practices
    • Nature of the Parent-Program Relationship
    • Center-Based Programs
    • Family Child Care
    • Once the Report is Made
    • Summary
  8. APPENDIX A: Mandatory Reporters of Child Abuse and Neglect
    • Who Must Report
    • Circumstances
  9. Where to Report
    • Privileged Communications
  10. APPENDIX C: Child Abuse Reporting Numbers
  11. Glossary of Terms