• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

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.

Liability of Professionals
Liability of professionals

Liability is an increasing concern for professionals working with abused and neglected children and with adult survivors of childhood abuse. Twenty years ago, lawsuits against mental health, medical, and social work professionals in this field were uncommon. Today, however, the threat of litigation is all too real. Recent years have witnessed a steady rise in lawsuits and ethics complaints against professionals (Peterson, 1996). This chapter analyzes the underpinnings of liability, outlines the three settings for legal action against professionals, discusses malpractice and negligence, and discusses liability based on principles of constitutional law.

Liability arises from several sources. For organizational reasons, some liability issues are discussed in this chapter, whereas other issues are addressed in other chapters. The following “road map” will ...

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