Mothers of sexually abused children
A framework for assessment, understanding and support
By Martin Calder with Anne Peake and Kate Rose
9781898924777

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

Beware!

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 structured 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. An 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 can be used to negotiate strategies to help them move on.

    All this material is set in context by a chapter that explores assessment in the wider contexts of sexual abuse work, and which draws out those issues that have particular significance in your work with mothers.

    This is the first book of its kind published anywhere in the world: and you need to read it to move your practice and thinking on.

    This text is essential reading for workers in social services, health, psychology, psychiatry, the legal profession, Area Child Protection Committees, academics and researchers, students, and trainers.

    It is a partner text to Strong Mothers authored by Anne Peake and Marion Fletcher (RHP, 1997) that provides mothers themselves with guidance to help the child and themselves overcome sexual abuse.


    Large format paperback. 400 pages. 978-1-898924-77-7. Published 2001. £49.95


    CONTENTS

    Introduction
    Assessment in sexual abuse cases: an overview of issues and their application in work with mothers
    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
    Outcome considerations


    REVIEWS

    "Indispensable information and advice that will shape your thinking and practice… Throughout the book the importance of not isolating or undermining mothers is emphasised and the chapter on practical exercises and the appendices will come as bread from heaven to those with responsibility for developing local services."Probation Journal.

    "A wealth of practical detail... Each chapter is provided with summaries of the main points (indispensable to the busy practitioner), together with useful checklists and exercises to use.' VISTA.

    "One of the key ideas to emerge in the increasing knowledge base of child sexual abuse work has been the pivotal role that mothers play in the recognition, protection and recovery process of their children- the book's value in providing workers with a theoretical framework to inform their practice is beyond doubt." Professional Social Work.

    "Very accessible, thoroughly researched and well-balanced… It draws extensively on a wide range of authoritative writing in the domain and brings together a body of research and evidence that instil a sense of confidence in the reader. It provides a wealth of theoretical ideas, helpful exercises and practical applications, all of which make it a thoroughly useful text... Chapter by chapter it builds a comprehensive framework which should enable those who use it to work in an insightful and anti-oppressive manner. I would view it as an essential text for anyone working in this field." Child and Family Social Work.

    "Drawing on the best of practice research and wisdom, the authors explore strategies for intervention and assessment that can strengthen the mother/child relationship and restore bonds disrupted by abuse." Community Care.

    TOP OF PAGE