ERIC Number: EJ837375
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Apr
Reference Count: 2
Therapeutically Managing Reunification after Abuse Allegations
Hewitt, Sandra K.
Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, v17 n1 p17-19 Apr 2008
The issue of child sexual abuse is not a black and white issue; young children often cannot describe their experiences in a way that can be admitted in court, and, even if admitted, they are often unable to stand for cross examination of their statements. The custodial parent believes something has happened as they have witnessed the fears, nightmares, hypervigilance, sexual acting out. But none of this reaches the threshold for prosecution. Often a child is ordered back into contact with no transition to help and the custodial parent feels helpless to protect. One approach to this dilemma is to recognize that, absent criminal charges, children are often ordered into visits. However, once ordered, the focus of the contact shifts into a therapy protocol that focuses on making the reunification process as safe as possible for the child, not only at the onset, but also for later. This process outlined in this article works to actively deal with the allegations of abuse by directly addressing them, using a therapy process to make specific and concrete rules about touch in relationships, to monitor the contact between the child and alleged offender after these rules have been set down, and to keep the focus on the health of the child's long-term adjustment.
Descriptors: Sexual Abuse, Child Abuse, Therapy, Counseling Techniques, Interpersonal Relationship, Well Being, Child Welfare, Children, Parent Child Relationship, Adjustment (to Environment), Adolescents, Child Safety
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A