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In: Child Social Work Policy & Practice

Chapter 5: Understanding Child Maltreatment: ‘Causes’ and Consequences

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Understanding Child Maltreatment: ‘Causes’ and Consequences
Understanding child maltreatment: ‘Causes’ and consequences

In this chapter, we examine what might be termed the ‘knowledge base’ for child maltreatment, which in broad terms has focused on four main areas: measurement; ‘causes’ of maltreatment; its consequences; and the effectiveness of intervention. All of these, however, are dependent upon issues of definition and it is with these that we start. Despite the expanding concept of maltreatment described in the previous chapter, the four main categories of physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse and emotional abuse remain central.

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating, or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the ...

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