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How to Train Professionals to Effectively Manage Child Abuse Cases: The Case-Example of a University- Based and Multidisciplinary Training Program in Italy

Author(s): Ernesto Caffo (Telefono Azzurro, Italy), Barbara Forresi (Telefono Azzurro, Italy) and Gianluigi Lepri (Telefono Azzurro, Italy)
Copyright: 2010
Pages: 17
EISBN13: 9781615209507

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Abstract

Despite the increasing number of child psychological, physical and sexual abuse cases, and the subsequent need for interagency interventions, professional knowledge about the dynamics, nature, strengths and difficulties of the integrated response to child abuse is not universal. In addition to this, training programs for the delivery of a multidisciplinary approach to child abuse cases has always received little attention. The purpose of this chapter is to describe the postgraduate training course “Assessment and treatment approach when handling child abuse cases and paedophilia”, developed by the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia (Italy), as an example of a university based and multidisciplinary training to child abuse professionals. This program is aimed at assisting graduated communities’ professionals - such as child psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, educators, law enforcement officers, judges and lawyers - to develop evidence based strategies to respond to child abuse. First the training program will be presented, describing contents and methods used to facilitate critical reflection and analysis of practice/policy: lectures, case studies, work-groups and team-building, web-based and experiential learning. Furthermore, the impact on trainee knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors will be described and discussed on the basis of the existing literature. Barriers to multidisciplinary work such as work style and communication differences among professions, attitudes and behaviors toward children, will be also critically discussed.

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