ERIC Number: EJ776923
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
A Randomized Controlled Trial of Consensus-Based Child Abuse Case Management
Goldbeck, L.; Laib-Koehnemund, A.; Fegert, J. M.
Child Abuse & Neglect: The International Journal, v31 n9 p919-933 Sep 2007
Objective: This study evaluates the effects of expert-assisted child abuse and neglect case management in the German child welfare and healthcare system as perceived by the case workers themselves. Methods: Case workers with different professions (social workers, counselors, clinic-based and office-based psychotherapists, and physicians) participated in the study. They were responsible for 80 child protection cases which were enrolled for the study and randomly assigned either to expert-assisted case management or to case management as usual. The sample represented a broad range of child protection problems with alleged or confirmed physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse and/or neglect. The victims were between 0 and 18 years of age. The intervention group received two to six case review sessions provided by child protection experts from outside of the case workers' own institution within 6 months after referral of the case. The case workers' satisfaction with the perceived degree of child protection, their level of certainty in the process of investigation, risk assessment and intervention planning, the quality of inter-institutional communication, and the involvement of children and families were evaluated. Results: Overall, only few between-group differences indicated effects of the intervention program. There was a statistical tendency toward more satisfaction with the perceived degree of child protection in the intervention group. Certainty in the estimation of suspected child abuse decreased significantly in the intervention group, compared with the control group, whereas certainty with respect to intervention planning increased. There were no group differences in the estimation of inter-institutional communication. Case workers in the intervention reported significantly fewer legal prosecutions of the perpetrators than case workers without expert assistance. However, the involvement of children in planning the interventions was significantly lower in the intervention group. Conclusions: Expert-assisted case management may change the case workers' perception of the evidence for abuse and guide their interventions to provide child protection. Modifications of the method should consider improved participation of the child.
Descriptors: Physicians, Intervention, Sexual Abuse, Social Work, Control Groups, Child Welfare, Child Abuse, Child Neglect, Foreign Countries, Caseworkers, Risk, Institutional Cooperation
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Germany