Identification and assessment of intentional physical injuries to hospitalised preschool children

Hartweg, Janine (2000-12)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2000.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This research investigates the indicators, different role players and the assessment process of intentional physical injuries to children who are hospitalized. The basic premise for this research is the importance of professionals working with children in acquiring skills and knowledge on handling physically abused children. Physical abuse affects and requires the involvement of the entire family of the physically abused child. It is therefore necessary to consider the physically abused child as a part of the larger family system, and not assessed or treated in isolation. The purpose of this research is to broaden the theoretical knowledge of professionals working with children, and specifically social workers, in identifying and assessing physically abused children. This research report includes an investigation of risk factors, consequences and the adjustment process of physically abused children. Knowledge of these indicators of physical abuse will increase the awareness and the ability of the social worker or other professional to identify the injury as intentional. The assessment process by the multi-professional team in the hospital is also examined, focusing on the central role of the social worker in managing cases of physically abused children. The phases of the assessment process, the role of each team member, the various techniques applied as well as factors influencing assessment are described. The empirical research involved the use of both qualitative and quantitative methods in order to explore the theoretical part of the research. This section can be divided into three phases. The first phase included setting up a profile, over a period of four months, of physically abused children under the age of five, who were admitted to the hospital and their families (N = 24). Of this sample, the characteristics and circumstances of four parents/perpetrators (n = 4) were investigated in the form of interviews, which formed part of the second phase of the empirical research. The third phase included conducting a survey with the social workers (n = 5) that assessed physically abused children in the hospital. This was done III the form of questionnaires, which included closed and open-ended questions. The findings and responses of the respondents were analyzed and compared with the findings from previous studies undertaken by various authors. The findings of this research can be used as guidelines for professionals in general who work with children, and more specifically social workers in a hospital that assess children presenting with intentional physical injuries.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie navorsing ondersoek die aanduidende faktore, die rolspelers en die asseseringsproses van fisies mishandelde kinders wat gehospitaliseer word. Die uitgangspunt is die noodsaaklikheid van professionele persone wat met kinders werk, en veral maatskaplike werkers, om kennis en vaardighede te hê, ten einde kinders wat fisies mishandel is te kan hanteer. Omdat die hele gesin van die mishandelde kind geaffekteer word en betrokke is, is dit belangrik om die fisies mishandelde kind nie in isolasie, maar as deel van die familie sisteem te kan benader. Die navorsingsondersoek het ten doel om die teoretiese kennis basis van professionele persone wat met kinders werk, en spesifiek maatskaplike werkers, oor die identifisering en assesering van fisies mishandelde kinders uit te brei. Ten einde maatskaplike werkers se kennis van die probleem onders aandag uit te bou, vervat die navorsingsverslag 'n bespreking van die risiko faktore, gevolge en aanpassingsproses van die fisies mishandelde kind. Kennis van hierdie aanduiders sal die bewusdheid asook die vermoë van professionele persone om die fisiese mishandeling te identifiseer, verhoog. Die asseseringsproses deur die multiprofessionele span in die hospitaal word ook ondersoek, met fokus op die sentrale rol van die maatskaplike werker in die hantering van fisies mishandelde kinders. Die fases van die asseseringsproses, die rol van elke spanlid, verskeie tegnieke en faktore wat assesering beïnvloed, word bespreek. Die teoretiese doel van die verslag word uitgebrei in die empiriese ondersoek, deur 'n bespreking van die bevindinge wat deur veskeie metodes verkry is. Kwalitatiewe asook kwantitatiewe metodes is benut tydens die drie fases van die empiriese ondersoek. Die eerste fase was die opstel van 'n profiel wat oor 'n tydperk van vier maande geneem is, van fisies mishandelde kinders wat toegelaat is in die hospitaal en hul gesinne (N = 24). Vanuit hierdie streekproef, is die eienskappe en omstandighede van vier ouers/oortreders (n = 4) ondersoek deur middel van onderhoude, wat die tweede fase van die ondersoek bevat. Die derde fase was om 'n opname te doen met die maatskaplike werkers (n = 5) wat die fisies mishandelde kinders in die hospitaal asseseer. Die bevindinge en response van die respondente is geanaliseer en vergelyk met die bevindinge van vorige studies wat deur verskeie outeurs onderneem is. Die bevindinge van hierdie navorsing kan as 'n riglyn gebruik word deur professionele persone wat oor die algemeen met kinders werk, en meer spesifiek maatskaplike werkers wat fisies mishandelde kinders in 'n hospitaal asseseer.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/51793
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