Child abuse cases are unique in that they involve seldomly witnessed acts. A nonverbal victim and a silent perpetrator will often lead to a stalling of the investigation and the judicial process. Effective Child Abuse Investigation for the Multi-Disciplinary Team is a practical guide for law enforcement officers and child protection workers in abuse investigations. It demonstrates how all members of the team can best work together to consolidate the medical, social, and legal facts in each case, increasing the chances for successful prosecution and enhancing child safety.
Presenting the insight of an investigator with more than two decades of experience, this book guides investigators in the best practices of abuse investigations through a better understanding of the dynamics of abuse, the mechanisms of injury, and the efficient use of professional expertise.
- Forming an investigative plan
- Differentiating between accidental and abusive injury
- Triggers for abuse most often cited by perpetrators
- Common defenses, including religious or constitutional justification for punishment
- Legal and social factors associated with taking a child into protective custody
- Preparing for civil and criminal trial
Additional topics include the danger of investigative bias, female sex offenders, child development, and basic medical terminology associated with abusive head trauma. Appendices include questions to be asked in all cases, a pediatric investigation checklist for first responders, and an investigative timeline checklist.
Suitable for any law enforcement training environment, the book demonstrates how working together with the collective knowledge of all members of the team can ensure maltreated children are protected and abusers held accountable for their actions.
Table of Contents
Allegation and Disclosure
Child Forensic Interview
The Nonoffending Parent as a Witness
Accelerated Timeline for Suspect Contact
Accidental versus Nonaccidental Trauma
Fall Injuries and Abusive Head Trauma
Abusive Head Trauma
Timeline of AHT/SBS
Triggers for Abuse
Fractures from Birth
Religion and Child Abuse
Female Sex Offenders
Investigative and Judicial Bias
Child Advocacy Centers
Outside Agency Investigations
Plausible versus Actual
Appendix A: Question Sets
Appendix B: Pediatric Abuse Investigation Checklist
for First Responders
Appendix C: Investigative Timeline Checklist
Bradley Graham is a detective assigned to the Criminal Investigations Division at the Tacoma Police Department. He has investigated child and physical abuse cases almost exclusively for the past 17 years. He has been a member of the training faculty of a number of state-wide training teams focusing on family violence and child abuse and has been invited to present on the topic of child abuse issues and case studies at both state and national conferences, including the Washington State Criminal Justice Conference (Seattle). Bradley has a master’s of science degree in law and justice from Central Washington University.