Working with Denied Child Abuse. The Resolution Approach


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How can professionals build constructive relationships with families where the parents dispute professional allegations of serious child abuse? How can meaningful safety for children be created in these families? How can professionals work together constructively in such cases? Situations where parents refute child abuse allegations made against them are often deemed to be impossible or untreatable by statutory and treatment professionals. These cases can consume enormous amounts of professional time and energy and frequently become bogged down by ongoing professional-family mistrust and dispute. Often, the decision to close such cases comes about not because the children are safe, but rather because the professionals run out of ideas, time and energy. Working with ‘Denied’ Child Abuse presents an innovative, safety-focused, partnership-based, model called Resolutions, which provides an alternative approach for responding rigorously and creatively to such cases. It describes each stage of this practical model and demonstrates the approach through many case examples from therapists, statutory social workers and other professionals working in Europe, North America and Australasia. The book is key reading for legal, health and social care professionals working in the area of child protection. This book is a highly readable and original text on the classic problem of dealing with denial in child abuse cases. Such cases often deteriorate into the stalemate of confrontation, which is frustrating for the adults and harmful for the children. Turnell and Essex’s book offers a persuasive alternative, setting out in detail how negotiating the child’s future safety can bypass the conflicts about the past and lead to solutions that work for the child. There is excellent use of case material throughout to explain the approach in detail. Dr Eileen Munro, London School of Economics and Political Science