Child abuse cases are unique in that they involve seldomly witnessed acts. A nonverbal victim and a silent perpetrator will often lead to a stalling of the investigation and the judicial process. Effective Child Abuse Investigation for the Multi-Disciplinary Team is a practical guide for law enforcement officers and child protection workers in abuse investigations. It demonstrates how all members of the team can best work together to consolidate the medical, social, and legal facts in each case, increasing the chances for successful prosecution and enhancing child safety. Presenting the insight of an investigator with more than two decades of experience, this book guides investigators in the best practices of abuse investigations through a better understanding of the dynamics of abuse, the mechanisms of injury, and the efficient use of professional expertise. Topics include: Forming an investigative plan Differentiating between accidental and abusive injury Triggers for abuse most often cited by perpetrators Common defenses, including religious or constitutional justification for punishment Legal and social factors associated with taking a child into protective custody Preparing for civil and criminal trial Additional topics include the danger of investigative bias, female sex offenders, child development, and basic medical terminology associated with abusive head trauma. Appendices include questions to be asked in all cases, a pediatric investigation checklist for first responders, and an investigative timeline checklist. Suitable for any law enforcement training environment, the book demonstrates how working together with the collective knowledge of all members of the team can ensure maltreated children are protected and abusers held accountable for their actions.
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