Child Abuse and Neglect (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
The first treatment priority for an abused or neglected child is to provide a safe environment to prevent further harm. Early treatment gives a child the best chance for physical and emotional recovery. This includes separating the child, as well as any other children in the household, from the suspected abusive parent or caregiver.
A wide variety of therapies may be used for both children and parents. Specific treatment depends on the type of abuse, who inflicted it (perpetrator), and in what setting it occurred. Health and legal professionals work as a team to develop the most effective program using their training, experience, judgment, and creativity.3
Treatment for physical injuries
Treatment for an abused or neglected child depends on the nature of the abuse. If a child's injury or neglect has caused a life-threatening condition, such as shaken baby syndrome (also called intentional head injury), treatment will be given in a hospital setting. Less serious physical injuries, such as cigarette burns on the skin, will be treated on an outpatient basis with scheduled follow-up appointments.
Treatment for emotional injuries
Counseling is recommended for all children who are victims of abuse or neglect. For very young children, this treatment may involve play therapy. Counseling for children of all ages usually addresses:
Treatment for parents or caregivers
Parents or caregivers who have abused or neglected a child also need treatment. The type of treatment depends on the specific abuse that occurred. Some people need more education on effective parenting techniques. Others may need treatment for other serious problems, such as:
Parents who have lost custody of their children may regain it. Whether they do so depends on the severity of the abuse or neglect and a professional evaluation of their rehabilitation progress. In severe cases, future contact between parent and child must be supervised. Sometimes all parental rights are lost.
eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise
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