Supporting the Whole Family: Engaging Caregivers of Abused Children
1:30 PM - 3:00 PMWed
Children's Center of Clackamas County
A disclosure of child abuse can turn a caregiver’s world upside down. As
professionals, we know that the research indicates most alleged
offenders are closely related to the victim, but it is often challenging for
caregivers to believe the worst of someone they love and trust. Believing
a child abuse disclosure is often a process as the caregiver grieves the
loss of the way life used to be. Research shows that a caregiver’s
response to their child following a disclosure has a significant impact on
the child’s mental health and their ability to heal from the abuse.
Caregivers have many influences – their own mental health concerns,
past trauma, family history, social supports, and complicated family dynamics – which guide their response. How can professionals working with caregivers respond in ways that are child-centered, yet take into consideration the caregiver’s emotions and state of mind? How do professionals help ambivalent caregivers get to a place where they can be protective of their child? In this talk, the presenters will explore strategies for engaging and supporting caregivers who are facing the extremely difficult task of supporting their child amid a family crisis. The presenters will also discuss the latest research on parental responses and their impact on children and adolescents, present case scenarios, and discuss meaningful self-care strategies for caregivers.