The influence of the family preservation model on child sexual abuse intervention strategies: changes in child welfare worker tasks.


There is no easy solution for child sexual abuse. Various innovations have been tried. Most are based on the belief that punishment without treatment is counterproductive in cases of intrafamilial child sexual abuse because it further disrupts the family. Many counties have developed strategies that divert offenders into treatment rather than prison. Professionals in those counties apparently believe that treatment with the threat of prosecution or imprisonment is faster, cheaper, less traumatic for the child, and more effective in reducing recidivism. Ideally, it will also help preserve families. To make such strategies work, child sexual abuse intervention professionals have adapted their activities through all phases of contact with the victim, offender, and the family. They must be collaborators, consultants, liaisons, counselors, and advocates. Finally, there is little research on the effectiveness of the innovative intervention strategies. To discern if those strategies are more effective than traditional approaches in reducing child sexual abuse, in helping the family to cope with the problem, and in minimizing system-induced trauma to the child, continued research is necessary.


School of Social Work

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Child welfare