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September/October 2001Vol. 2, No. 5Mental Health Guidelines Updated for Child Victims of Intrafamilial Abuse

Significantly expanded from last year, the Guidelines for the Psychosocial Treatment of Intrafamilial Child Physical and Sexual Abuse, Draft Report 4-6-01 provides guidelines regarding assessments and using standardized measures, 22 principles of treatment, and 24 treatment protocols. Practitioners are encouraged to review the draft and provide comments to assist with finalizing the document.

The guidelines are intended for use by a large audience including:

  • Mental health professionals
  • Mental health treatment programs
  • Victim/witness advocates
  • Family/juvenile court judges
  • Prosecutors
  • Criminal court judges
  • Child protective services personnel
  • State and Federal victims compensation programs
  • Policy makers
  • Government mental health benefit programs (e.g., Medicaid and Medicare)
  • Private insurance companies
  • Health maintenance organizations (HMOs)
  • Child abuse professionals
  • Professional organizations
  • Others concerned with the treatment of abused children.

The guidelines are designed to inform practitioners about the characteristics of certain treatment protocols, including risks and benefits, in order to make the best selection for their patients. Treatment protocols are grouped by:

  • Child-focused interventions
  • Parent, parent/child, and family-focused interventions
  • Offender-focused interventions.

The guidelines were developed under a grant from the Office for Victims of Crime of the U.S. Department of Justice by the National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center of the Medical University of South Carolina, and the Center for Sexual Assault and Traumatic Stress at the Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

The draft and instructions for submitting feedback can be found on the Crime Victims Center website at the Medical University of South Carolina:

Related Item

See the following related article in the July 2000 issue of the Children's Bureau Express:

  • "New Mental Health Guidelines Drafted for Child Victims of Intrafamilial Abuse"