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Journal Article

Citation

Cocozza M, Gustafsson PA, Sydsjö G. Acta Paediatr. 2006; 95(11): 1474-1480.

Affiliation

Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Linkoping University, Linkoping, Sweden.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2006, John Wiley and Sons)

DOI

10.1080/08035250600784352

PMID

17062480

Abstract

Aim: To study the validity of the decision not to investigate mandatory reports of suspected child maltreatment. Methods: Written files of 220 reports indicating possible child maltreatment were analysed and re-evaluated. As a measure of the justification for the decisions, a 5-y follow-up study was done. Results: We determined that 76% of the reports still indicated child maltreatment after the initial assessment was done. In the follow-up study, 45% of the children had been investigated. The social worker used the family as the only source of information in 74% of the cases, in 6% someone outside the family was contacted, and in 11% no further information in addition to the report was collected. In 9%, data on information sources were missing. Conclusion: The findings are rather discouraging, as they challenge the belief that a report is a means of ensuring that maltreatment does not continue. The study shows that, depending upon the way in which the initial assessments are made, maltreated children may run a risk of not being identified, even though the maltreatment has been reported. This suggests that there may be a need for national guidelines concerning the reporting of maltreatment.



Language: en

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