Effective Child Abuse Investigation for the Multi-Disciplinary Team  book cover
1st Edition

Effective Child Abuse Investigation for the Multi-Disciplinary Team

ISBN 9781482243123
Published August 7, 2014 by Routledge
128 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

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.

Topics include:

  • 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

Investigative Plan

Allegation and Disclosure
Suspect Information
Child Forensic Interview
Medical Evaluation
Multi-disciplinary Response
The Nonoffending Parent as a Witness
Other Witnesses
Crime Scene
Accelerated Timeline for Suspect Contact
Accidental versus Nonaccidental Trauma
Sentinel Bruising
Fall Injuries and Abusive Head Trauma
Abusive Head Trauma
Timeline of AHT/SBS
Triggers for Abuse
Economic Stressors
Common Defenses
Osteogenesis Imperfecta
Fractures from Birth
Violent Coughing
Corporal Punishment
Religion and Child Abuse
Protective Custody
Probable Cause
Imminent Danger
Multiple Siblings
Administrative Issues
Investigative Bias
Female Sex Offenders
Media Bias
Investigative and Judicial Bias
Older Victims
Investigative Considerations
Multi-disciplinary Teams
Best Practices
Child Advocacy Centers
Case Review
Outside Agency Investigations
Information Sharing
Trial Testimony
Investigative Process
Professional Background
Child Development
Sexual Development
Sexual Play
Physical Development
Medical Terms
Plausible versus Actual
Appendix A: Question Sets
Medical Questions
Caretaker Questions
Appendix B: Pediatric Abuse Investigation Checklist
for First Responders

Appendix C: Investigative Timeline Checklist

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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.