The increasing reports of childhood sexual abuse have resulted in heightened awareness and response from communities. Concomitantly, many communities have established multidisciplinary cooperation between various agencies to maximize investigative efforts and minimize the psychological and physical trauma to the child. The degree of cooperation and collaboration between investigative entities such as physicians, child protective services, law enforcement and legal representatives and therapeutic services such as counselors, psychologists, and advocates, has varied widely. The Medical/Social Evaluation model described in Ms article is a merger of therapeutic (social workers) and investigative (pediatricians) efforts for victims of sexual abuse and their families. This model has resulted in significant advantages, including more comprehensive and complete information regarding the abuse, the child, and the family's reactions. Through this merger, the child's psychological processing and resolution of the abuse experience is optimized and integrated with the medical interview and examination. Such a model or variations thereof, should be considered in communities developing or implementing a multidisciplinary approach to child sexual abuse.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Clinical Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health