Child Abuse and Neglect: Intervention
There is not a clear cut off line from where the assessment ends and the intervention begins in child and family work.
Following is a number of approaches to intervention that have been selected because they are consistent with values of self-determination, respect, dignity empowerment and social justice: values commonly drawn upon in child and family work (Tilbury, et al., 2007).
The Systems approach is based on the theory that whatever happens in any part of a system, it impacts on all other parts of the system to a greater or lesser extent. For example, unhappiness within families produces unhappy family members; hence every individual in that family is affected. This also implies that every individual family member has a responsibility in improving the level of happiness in the family.
A systems approach allows for consideration of a range of variables impacting on a subject which would include the individual and family; school; work and peers; the community and societal influences.
The goal of the systems approach is to achieve equilibrium between the individual and their social environment. Helping individuals to build bridges between the needs that they have and the available resources they have access to or are capable of achieving.
Family therapy approach
There are numerous family therapies that are based on psychodynamic and system theories, however solution focused approach has recently emerged as being an effective way of helping families.
The solution based approach focuses on solutions rather than problems. This approach promotes brief interventions that focuses on what is happening now, rather than why it is happening.
Strength based therapy emerged in contrast to the problem focused theories of the past. Its main value is focusing on the strengths of the individual, the family, the community, and the available resources. With an emphasis on self-direction, personal responsibility, it allows clients to gain a greater sense of progress. Efforts are concentrated on the future and building resilience rather than seeking to remedy the problems of the past.
Cognitive Behavioural approach
The fundamental basis of CBT is that what an individual thinks, influences what that same individual feels, which then influence how that individual will behave. The CBT approach is goal orientated, self-directed, and challenges irrational or negative thinking patterns.
This approach could be considered useful particularly where children have experienced childhood trauma, as cognition (memories) can become distorted, children can blame themselves (irrational thoughts) and CBT helps to challenge and change those irrational beliefs to more realistic and less damaging to the client, through positive reinforcement, affirmations, and other methods of challenging distorted thinking patterns.
Crisis Intervention is a brief immediate method of intervention. Work is directional in that advice and guidance may be given. It is a structured process involving attending to both cognitive and behavioural reactions in the beginning, middle and end of a time limited intervention. The aim is to help individuals to gain coping mechanisms that can be used in long-term change. The effectiveness of crisis intervention is limited for people whose lives are in long term crisis; due to poverty, discrimination or other social circumstances.
A community development approach to child protection attempts to understand, at the local level, the needs of parents with children. For example; members in a local community recognise the need for a culturally appropriate community child care facility in suburb A. Members of the community form a group and set about developing the services or facilities to provide that need to the community.
The underpinning theme of community development is to link people together, building individual skills, knowledge and confidence. Furthermore, by connecting community members with the decision-makers in government and business to bring about positive changes in the community, from which individuals will benefit.