The Handbook for Child Protection Protection Practice presents a comprehensive and critical portrait of the phenomenon of neglect. Drawing on theory, research and clinical practice experience, the contributors cover issues facing social workers. They provide a view of child neglect which moves beyond the current child welfare focus on parental omissions in care. Organized in question and answer format, topics covered include: engaging with the client; initial assessments for factors such as neglect and physical and sexual abuse; how to assess the family; interventions with various different emphases; and safeguarding the social workers well-being: legally, physically and mentally.
Chapter 45: How Do I Determine Whether a Child Has Been Psychologically Maltreated?
How Do I Determine Whether a Child Has Been Psychologically Maltreated?
Assessment of Psychological Maltreatment
Psychological maltreatment is identified through observations and reports of caregiver behavior. Knowledge of the forms of psychological maltreatment described in Chapter 6 (this volume) and their embodiment in state or provincial law provide guidance in identifying psychologically abusive caregiver behaviors (see Table 6.1).
If possible, a professional should observe the caregiver suspected of psychological maltreatment and child interacting. Observations should be done on several occasions to obtain a representative sample of caregiver-child behavior and to detect chronic behavioral patterns. Psychologically maltreating parents may be continually critical and derogatory, threaten to abandon their child (e.g., “Do that once more ...