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Evaluation of Child Abuse and Neglect 

Evaluation of Child Abuse and Neglect
Chapter:
Evaluation of Child Abuse and Neglect
Author(s):

Matthew Soulier

and Catherine Ayoub

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199387106.003.0010
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date: 22 September 2019

Child abuse and neglect constitute a long-standing worldwide epidemic. Millions of cases of abuse and neglect are reported every year. As mandated reporters, clinicians are legally bound to recognize and report, but not prove, suspected acts of child maltreatment. Child protection agencies investigate the validity of the allegations. Only trained professionals should explore and gather evidence for suspected abuse or neglect of a child, while the clinician who has fulfilled his or her duty as a mandated reporter continues to provide clinical care for the child. Young children also benefit from forensic examinations by interviewers who are trained in early childhood development and age-appropriate interview techniques, such as open-ended questions, that minimize suggestion and allow children to freely recall the alleged offender’s behavior. A clear understanding of professional duties and responsibilities will promote the just adjudication of offenders and the well-being of children.

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