Child appropriateness because it has become widely known since










Child Abuse and Neglect Crisis

Alicia Soliz

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Western New Mexico University













For this paper I have chosen to identify a
child abuse and neglect crisis intervention. This intervention focuses on
helping children who suffer from abuse and neglect and how we as social workers
can intervene in the lives of troubled families. The specific intervention I
have chosen to base my paper on is, Crisis
Intervention in Child Abuse and Neglect. This intervention was conducted by
the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children
and Families, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, and the National
Center on Child Abuse and Neglect. This paper will discuss the specific
evidence, fidelity and logic of the intervention for the client, with the
clients being the families in crisis.

A child abuse and neglect crisis
intervention is a logical fit discussing cultural sensitivity and
appropriateness because it has become widely known since the 1970s when the
Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act was signed. According to Crisis Intervention in Child Abuse and
Neglect, “Since that time, the Federal Government has served as a catalyst
to mobilize society’s social service, mental health, medical, educational,
legal and law enforcement resources to address the challenges in the prevention
and treatment of child abuse and neglect.” In 1971, twenty-one manuals were
created by the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect (NCCAN), in order to
provide professional guidance to those involved in the child protection system
and to help enhance the collaboration of the community and the quality of
services being provided to troubled children and families. The manuals
described a number of things including, “each professional’s roles and
responsibilities in the prevention, identification, and treatment of child
maltreatment.” (Crisis Intervention in
Child Abuse and Neglect, 1994.)
Since the manuals have been developed, our understanding of the intensity of
child abuse and neglect has dramatically increased. With our increased
understanding, we have a better grasp on what we can do to help prevent child
abuse and neglect.


            In the case of this intervention, the
client would be the children who suffer from abuse and neglect along with the
troubled families who are a part of it. The evidence based practice comes from
an intervention that was already conducted in 1994. This intervention is
described in the manual Crisis
Intervention in Child Abuse and Neglect. Informed consent was acknowledged
and practiced with this information considering it involved real clients and
case workers.

            This intervention plan demonstrates
many ethics and values throughout this process. For example, in section 1.01 of
the NASW Code of Ethics it states “Social workers’ primary responsibility is to
promote the well-being of clients,” and the entire purpose of this intervention
is to do just that. The intervention also goes alone with sections 1.03 and
1.07 of the NASW Code of Ethics, with section 1.03 involving informed consent
and section 1.07 involving privacy and confidentiality. This crisis
intervention also demonstrates various different type of values. This intervention
includes, the scope and goals of the crisis intervention, six goals of crisis
treatment, a nine-step crisis intervention model and examples of crisis
intervention teams. Throughout the intervention plan, an assessment is also
given that describes the process to help the clients get through the crisis.
The steps in the assessment include making the initial contact, identifying the
precipitating event, observing family interaction and conditions, and
determining the family’s needs.


            For this type of intervention,
various types of screening instruments are given to clients in order to conduct
treatment evaluations. In any type of risk-assessment protocol, great caution
and professional judgement must be warranted. A constellation of risk factors
must also be taken into determination in order to suggest if a child is
considered not safe in a home and that careful monitoring is advised. The type
of screening instrument is usually based upon the specific case and training is
required for some specific instruments.


During this intervention, the IRB process
is taken heavily into consideration before any screening of instruments are
used. The primary purpose of the IRB process is to help protect the rights and
welfare of clients participating in research activities. The IRB process is
taken into consideration during this intervention when special training is
required for different screening instruments. Training for certain screening
instruments is required in order to insure that no misinterpretations occur.


            For this intervention, an ABA design
was established in order to work with the children and families that suffer
from abuse and neglect. An ABA design is when a baseline condition is first
established, this being the “A” phase. A treatment or intervention is then
introduced to see if it can effect some sort of change, this being the “B”
phase. After this, the treatment is then removed to see if it returns to the
baseline or phase “A.” In this case, the children and families in crisis would
be considered the baseline condition. The intervention is then introduced to
the families to see if good changes come from it. The intervention is then
removed when the families enter back into their normal lives and they see if
they are still considered to be in crisis.

            Single study case design is another
method of design used in this intervention. Single study case design is also
known as single subject design. This evaluation method is used to test the
success of an intervention or treatment on a particular case. This design also
provides conformation about the productiveness of the intervention using
compact sample sizes. In this case, the intervention would include the
different types of approaches used to help treat the client, being the children
who suffer from abuse and neglect.


            The Crisis Intervention in Child Abuse and Neglect uses various
approaches in order to help families accomplish their goals. Throughout the
intervention plan, all types of these approaches are named and described.

            A “Community Systems” and “Use of
Community Resources” approach is used when total family involvement is the main
importance of the crisis intervention. This type of approach finds that
“coordination and involvement of all available community agencies and resources
are of paramount importance to successful resolution of most crises.” (Crisis Intervention in Child Abuse and
Neglect, 1994.) When addressing the needs of families in crisis,
cooperation within the community is needed in order to assure maximum benefit
from the use of the resources. With lack of communication and coordinated
efforts between community resources, it creates extreme frustration for the
families involved in the case. In order for a worker to help provide stability
and support for the family in crisis, they must guide them to appropriate
organizations and services throughout the community. The crisis worker should
be able to provide specific names of services and organizations, accompany the
clients to appointments and always be available through phone or e-mail.

            Another approach used for this
intervention is the Multiple Impact or Multimodal Approach. This type of
approach includes the use of many crisis workers rather than just one. Multiple
crisis workers are used for this approach in order to deal with family and
community-wide dysfunction. Each crisis worker on the team has specialized
training in something different. For example, some workers specialize in child
development, sexual abuse assessment or behavioral management, while other
members are usually trained in a broad variety of things. In Multiple Impact
Therapy, therapists, students or volunteers are assigned to work with each
family member for about an hour. During this hour, an assessment is conducted
and individual time is spent with specific family members. The client will then
be asked to observe while each therapist role plays another family member. While
role playing, the therapist will say what the other family member feels and
wants from the members of the family. The therapist also uses “I” messages in
order to express how certain things look from that particular family member’s
perspective. This process usually takes up to several hours since all family
members are encouraged to express themselves. After the first couple of days,
only one crisis worker stays assigned to the family unless more are necessary.
Even with only one crisis worker assigned to the family from that point on,
there is still an abundance of consultants who are familiar with and able to
experience the family firsthand.

            Cognitive Behavioral Approach is
another approach used when working with crisis intervention that involves children
who suffer from abuse and neglect. In this approach, “cognitive behavioral
therapy assumes that clients have irrational, maladaptive beliefs that require
cognitive restructuring.” (Crisis
Intervention in Child Abuse and Neglect, 1994.) Cognitive behavioral
therapy is designed to identify particularly unwanted targets behaviors. In
order to do this, listening to the opinions of the other family members and the
family as a whole is required. The listener begins by attempting to identify
what set of the undesirable behavior. After this, a new behavior is introduced
by another family member in order to replace the antecedent. Desirable
responses are then agreed upon by the family members and either reinforcements
or consequences are provided depending on if they agreed or disagreed on a
desirable response. Consistency and follow us are important for the success of
cognitive behavioral therapy.

            Crisis Intervention in Child Abuse and Neglect
also uses Task-Centered Approach when working with their clients. Task-centered
methods of treatment combine both crisis intervention theory and research
practice that indicates the effectiveness of the methods used with a broad
range of clients. The task-centered approach also includes both uncontrolled
and controlled studies. Controlled studies usually take place in a school
setting and psychiatric clinics, while uncontrolled studies focus on the productiveness
that has been conducted in medical, family, child guidance, psychiatric,
school, corrections and public welfare settings.

            Another type of approach used is the
Family Treatment Approach. When using this approach, therapists develop
situations in order to demonstrate how the family will react to it. The
therapist then engages the family to assure them that their involvement is
active in the ongoing treatment. In this approach, rather than the focus being
on just one individual it is on the entire family system.Although, the
therapist still acknowledges that each member of the family is assigned a
specific role. This approach also focuses on family secrets, myths, dyads, etc.
that possibly gives clues as to why the family has become so dysfunctional and
if it’s something deeper rather than just what’s on the surface. The family
treatment approach has also shown to be the most effective type of treatment
for children and families because it helps them focus on family preservation
being more important than separation.

            The last approach that the Crisis Intervention in Child Abuse and
Neglect gives is an example of is the Eclectic Team Approach. During an
Eclectic Team Approach, members of the team work together to using their
different knowledge and expertise. They then use the combination of the two to
manage the presenting crisis. While using their different perspectives, the
team members then work with the family to create a treatment plan. When one
member of the team comes in direct contact with the family in crisis, he or she
then consults back to the rest of the group to fill them in.  Intervention teams do not necessarily work
“for” the clients, but instead they share the eclectic knowledge with them.
This enables them to “choose problem-solving strategies that restore their
sense of well-being and ability to cope.” (Crisis
Intervention in Child Abuse and Neglect, 1994.)


            The method of data collection used
for this crisis intervention is done using a Family Assessment Form, otherwise
known as a FAF. An FAF is designed to assist workers from the help and help
determine what kind of intervention for the family is needed. To measure risk
variables in the home, a Family Risk Scale is used. A Family Risk Scale
consists of “26 scales with sub-variables, and ’emphasize parental
characteristic and family conditions that are believed to be predictors or
precursors of child maltreatment or other harm to children.'” (Crisis Intervention in Child Abuse and
Neglect, 1994.) This assessment also includes six of the Child Well-Being
scales. These scales are believed to be the most useful type of resource for
risk assessment.

            Checklists are another form of data
collection while dealing with crisis intervention in child abuse and neglect.
General risk-assessment checklists are used with great caution and they tend to
identify weaknesses in the family at crisis. Although these checklists tend to
identify weaknesses as the main point, they still focus on finding strengths to
build upon. While using checklists, crisis workers turn family weaknesses as
potential goals or action steps in reverse.


            The best service delivery outcome to
ultimately evaluate the intervention would be the Eclectic Team Approach. The
Eclectic Team Approach combines workers of all different skill types, along
with the best approaches that fit the crisis situation. All approaches are
carefully considered by the crisis workers and one is then chosen based on how
well it’s going to work to help the family in crisis.

            This information will help utilize
to improve/service delivery to children that suffer from child abuse and
neglect because it gives different methods that crisis workers can use to help
families get through it. Throughout this intervention, different types of
methods and techniques are named that help treat families in this type of
crisis. These methods range from using only one crisis worker, to using a team
of crisis workers, to using the entire community as resources. Although, the
main purpose of all these techniques and methods is to instill hope into the
families in crisis. Crisis workers work on keeping their promises to the
families and sure enough the clients start to trust and believe that change
will happen. Clients and workers form a “positive” team that builds through
client strengths.











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C. E., & U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (1994). Crisis intervention in    child abuse and neglect. Washington, DC:
U.S. Department of Health and Human        Services,
Children’s Bureau.


R. M., Williams, M., & Unrau, Y. A. (2016). Research methods for social workers: an    introduction.
Kalamazoo: Pair Bond Publications.


N. A. (2008). NASW Code of Ethics (Guide to the Everyday Professional Conduct
of  Social Workers). Washington, DC: NASW.


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