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Vol. 20, No. 3
July 2015

Emotional Maltreatment and Child Welfare Practice

Identifying and responding to emotional maltreatment is a difficult area of child welfare work. One thing that makes it so difficult is that it is both common and rare.

Common, because emotional maltreatment often co-occurs with other forms of abuse and neglect (USDHHS, 2015; Trickett, et al., 2011).

Rare, because in North Carolina emotional abuse is a specific type of child maltreatment with its own relatively narrow legal definition. Indeed, over the course of a long career in child protective services (CPS) it is possible to frequently encounter children who have suffered emotional harm at the hands of their caregivers, but to rarely or even never substantiate “emotional abuse.”

Perhaps this is why, when the NC Division of Social Services asked county DSS child welfare professionals in August 2014 what they’d like to learn more about through publications and webinars, emotional abuse was a top concern.

While addressing emotional maltreatment will never be easy, we hope this issue will strengthen your capacity to respond to this challenge.

Contents of this Issue

Click here to read or print the entire issue as a pdf file

Recognizing Emotional Maltreatment

Emotional Abuse in North Carolina

Emotional Abuse in NC: What Administrative Data Tell Us

The Impact of Emotional Maltreatment

Identifying Emotional Abuse in the Context of Domestic Violence

Promoting Healthy Parenting

Emotional Maltreatment: One Clinician's Perspective
A conversation with Nancy Berson, LCSW

NC's Child/Family Evaluation Program
A valuable resource for assessing possible emotional abuse

References for this Issue

~ Family and Children's Resource Program ~