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Articles by University Catholique de Louvain

A Belgian program to fight child maltreatment: The “SOS children” teams

Published on: 8th August, 2019

OCLC Number/Unique Identifier: 8262544479

Child abuse remains a complex issue affecting individuals, families, groups and society, and one which WHO prevalence figures show as a significant ongoing problem. The nature of the abuse, be it physical, sexual, psychological, or neglect, places the child at high risk of experiencing the multiple sequelae of the trauma. Depending on the child’s country, the disclosure of abuse by the child or a third party will either be moved into criminal justice system or directed to the medico-psycho-social sector. In 1985, in Belgium, specialist teams were established to evaluate and support situations involving child abuse. More than thirty years later, we considered it opportune to update the parameters that our team has developed based on four reflexive themes. The first discusses the transformation of our society, families and individuals, exploring how each influences the others. The second theme describes the diagnostic process, holding in mind the complexity of any situation. The third theme describes the reasoning behind these teams, considering this as a de-judicialisation of such situations. Finally, we describe the different treatments available. This paper describes the evolution of clinical practice including developments in several aspects that have arisen through handling situations of abuse.
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