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November 2004Vol. 5, No. 9Guidelines Regarding Munchausen by Proxy

Child abuse and neglect can take many forms, and it is important for child welfare professionals to be informed on the best practices for all kinds of abuse and neglect. Munchausen by proxy (MBP) is a pervasive type of abuse where the caregiver fabricates, exacerbates, or exaggerates symptoms or illness in a child. The American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children, in partnership with the New York Foundling, published a set of practice guidelines for any professionals involved in reporting, assessing, or treating children affected by this kind of abuse. Medical providers, mandated reporters, law enforcement professionals, and others can use this guide to get a better understanding of what MBP is, how to recognize it, and what they can do.

The guidelines are divided into two components: (1) identification, assessment, and initial management of suspected cases of abuse or neglect, caregiver-fabricated illness in a child, or medical child abuse, regardless of the motivation of the abuser, and (2) education, assessment, and management guidance for cases of these forms of abuse and neglect. This resource is broken into several sections, covering the following:

  • Definitions of terms
  • Background information
  • Approaches to identification and psychiatric evaluation
  • Reporting requirements
  • Specific guidance for case management and treatment

Munchausen by Proxy: Clinical and Case Management Guidance is available at (981 KB).