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"It's Like Piecing Together Small Pieces of a Puzzle". Difficulties in Reporting Abuse and Neglect of Disabled Children to the Social Services

Mallén, Agneta LU (2011) In Journal of Scandinavian Studies in Criminology and Crime Prevention 12(1). p.45-62
Abstract
According to Swedish law, the Child and Youth Habilitation Services are obliged to report abuse and neglect of disabled children to the Social Services. Only a small proportion of all children who are suspected of being victims of abuse or neglect are however reported to the Social Services. The aim of this study is to discuss why some cases of abuse and neglect of disabled children are considered difficult to report by the Child and Youth Habilitation Services. The qualitative data were collected during individual and natural group interviews with fourteen members of the staff of a regional division of this authority. The study shows that reporting was seen as a “last resort”, and was used only when all other remedies had been exhausted.... (More)
According to Swedish law, the Child and Youth Habilitation Services are obliged to report abuse and neglect of disabled children to the Social Services. Only a small proportion of all children who are suspected of being victims of abuse or neglect are however reported to the Social Services. The aim of this study is to discuss why some cases of abuse and neglect of disabled children are considered difficult to report by the Child and Youth Habilitation Services. The qualitative data were collected during individual and natural group interviews with fourteen members of the staff of a regional division of this authority. The study shows that reporting was seen as a “last resort”, and was used only when all other remedies had been exhausted. The main obstacles to reporting were to be found in the perceived closeness between staff members and the disabled children’s families. Other obstacles to reporting were habilitation ideals, cultural ideas about the family, a lack of evidence of abuse and neglect, and uncertainty about the children’s future after reporting. Factors that facilitated reporting were visible proof of abuse and neglect, and the disabled children’s ability to communicate. Furthermore, certain criminal acts against the children were seen as more reprehensible than others and thus easier to report. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
qualitative, last resort, Habilitation Services, disability, children, abuse and neglect, child maltreatment, report, sexual abuse, Social Services, sociology, sociologi
in
Journal of Scandinavian Studies in Criminology and Crime Prevention
volume
12
issue
1
pages
45 - 62
publisher
Routledge
ISSN
1404-3858
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
791f70ba-7dc2-46b9-9162-b79f373b9dfb (old id 2376066)
date added to LUP
2012-03-23 13:51:57
date last changed
2016-04-16 05:49:06
@article{791f70ba-7dc2-46b9-9162-b79f373b9dfb,
  abstract     = {According to Swedish law, the Child and Youth Habilitation Services are obliged to report abuse and neglect of disabled children to the Social Services. Only a small proportion of all children who are suspected of being victims of abuse or neglect are however reported to the Social Services. The aim of this study is to discuss why some cases of abuse and neglect of disabled children are considered difficult to report by the Child and Youth Habilitation Services. The qualitative data were collected during individual and natural group interviews with fourteen members of the staff of a regional division of this authority. The study shows that reporting was seen as a “last resort”, and was used only when all other remedies had been exhausted. The main obstacles to reporting were to be found in the perceived closeness between staff members and the disabled children’s families. Other obstacles to reporting were habilitation ideals, cultural ideas about the family, a lack of evidence of abuse and neglect, and uncertainty about the children’s future after reporting. Factors that facilitated reporting were visible proof of abuse and neglect, and the disabled children’s ability to communicate. Furthermore, certain criminal acts against the children were seen as more reprehensible than others and thus easier to report.},
  author       = {Mallén, Agneta},
  issn         = {1404-3858},
  keyword      = {qualitative,last resort,Habilitation Services,disability,children,abuse and neglect,child maltreatment,report,sexual abuse,Social Services,sociology,sociologi},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {45--62},
  publisher    = {Routledge},
  series       = {Journal of Scandinavian Studies in Criminology and Crime Prevention},
  title        = {"It's Like Piecing Together Small Pieces of a Puzzle". Difficulties in Reporting Abuse and Neglect of Disabled Children to the Social Services},
  volume       = {12},
  year         = {2011},
}