Trust and Betrayal in the Treatment of Child Abuse

Laurie K. MacKinnon

July 16, 1999
ISBN 9781572305236
Price: $34.00
260 Pages
Size: 6" x 9"
Copyright Date: 1998

Offering a practical new approach to the management of child-at-risk cases, this book illuminates how parents perceive therapists and child protection workers and why, from their own point of view, they so frequently refuse to cooperate with intervention. Amply illustrated by case examples and interviews with parents, the book helps readers overcome common difficulties associated with the referral process while maximizing parents' cooperation and motivation for therapy. MacKinnon challenges dominant professional discourses that attribute abuse to parents' “pathology” or “dysfunction,” showing instead how family violence and the referral process itself are inextricably linked to dynamics of gender, class, power, and powerlessness. Readers learn to develop an effective relationship discourse with families, giving voice to the experience of each member and eliciting their commitment to nonviolence, fairness, and equality. Special attention is given to the therapist's role as a “power broker” who can prevent problems and intervene in difficulties between families and child protection agencies.