Mothers of sexually abused children - A framework for assessment, understanding and support


By Martin C Calder with Anne Peake and Kate Rose

Large format paperback, 400 pages

Published 2001

You are asked to undertake an assessment of a mother's ability to protect following a sexual abuse investigation involving her children.


You need to move beyond your values and prejudices that may negatively influence the mother's response.

Update yourself!

It is important that you familiarise yourself with the emerging research, which charts clearly how to undertake the required assessment. However, you need to do it in a way that goes beyond research by empowering mothers and works with their strengths. The assessment process is broken down into five chapters:

  • reactions to the discovery that her child has been abused
  • link with the perpetrator
  • personal qualities, resources and networks
  • capacities to parent the abused child(ren) and siblings
  • work with professional agencies and/or support systems

The process is split up in a structural and manageable way. Each chapter provides a review of the research, practice wisdom and theory, and provides a range of practical tools for operational use. A assessment schedule is provided that offers positive and worrying examples of the mother's ability to protect. This can be used to evaluate with the mother where they are at a particular point, and con be used to negotiate strategies to help them move on.

This is the fist book of its kind published anywhere in the word, and you need to read it to move your practice and things on.

Essential reading for workers in social services, health, psychology, psychiatry, the legal profession, area child protection committees, academics and researchers, students and trainers.


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