Child abuse referral processes and treatment methods
The purpose of this study was to compile comprehensive descriptive data concerning the referral processes and treatment methods developing across the nation for treatment of parents referred for child abuse or neglect.
A sample list was compiled which consisted of 66 agencies that are providing services to those parents. Data was collected through a mailed questionnaire. The results were compiled using 45 completed questionnaires.
Concerning staff working in the field, data revealed there were no consistent patterns which related to staff size. The majority had a staff of 15 or under: the range was zero (no one officially assigned) to 43. Groups augment staff by purchasing outisde consultants or services, referral to other agencies or individuals, and an extensive use of volunteers. Volunteers are used in different ways: on hot-lines; providing respite and day care; leading parent groups; in speakers bureaus; providing transportation; and as parent-aides.
The percentage of staff members having at least a bachelors degree in college was quite high. The discipline studies most frequently by staff was social work. In staffing, groups start with an administrator and clerical staff. As they grow larger, they most frequently added social workers. There was much diversity in jobs, showing they are turning towards the team approach.
When the child is not in danger, groups prefer to leave the child in his own home. Children are often included in treatment; through therapeutic day caret individual or group counseling, and family therapy.
Many different types of services were offered. The most frequently mentioned was individual counseling, then group counseling and family therapy. Group therapy and counseling was mentioned as the most successful treatment method.
The average treatment time seems to be in the vicinity of three to six months, but groups indicated therapy could last for years.