This expanded and updated Second Edition of Legal Issues in Child Abuse and Neglect Practice offers a state-of-the-art exploration of what role the law can play in bettering the lives of victimized children. While all who work with abused children share the same goals, there often exists a gap in communication between legal and helping professionals that reduces efficacy of cooperative efforts. This new edition continues to provide vital information to non-lawyers on how the legal system in the United States works in child abuse cases.
Chapter 5: Investigating Suspected Child abuse
Investigating Suspected Child abuse
This chapter builds on the material on interviewing in Chapter 4. This chapter devotes substantial attention to the role of professionals in gathering verbal evidence of maltreatment. The chapter also discusses multidisciplinary investigation, videotaping interviews, evaluating bizarre allegations of abuse, and, briefly, investigating cases with multiple victims.
Hearsay: Gathering Verbal Evidence of abuse
A child's statements to professionals, parents, teachers, and others may be powerful evidence of abuse. Professionals who investigate child abuse or treat abused children understand the importance of documenting the child's words. Many professionals, however, do not fully realize that documenting words is only half the battle. A child's [Page 154]words are usually hearsay, and hearsay cannot be used in court unless certain requirements are met. Professionals ...