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Child Abuse Negl. 2000 Feb;24(2):185-94.

Maltreatment of children with disabilities: training needs for a collaborative response.

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Virginia Commonwealth University, School of Education, Richmond 23284-3020, USA.



There is a dearth of research on how to respond to children with disabilities who have been maltreated. The literature that does exist recommends a collaborative team approach, with each team member possessing a broad understanding of the special considerations of working with children with disabilities. The literature does not define current understanding levels of response team members in comparison to essential knowledge levels.


The current study used a needs assessment instrument tailored to each of three key groups: parents, educators, and investigators. Respondents were asked about their knowledge level, experience with, and training interests on maltreatment of children with disabilities.


While respondents seemed to have a cursory awareness in some of the topic areas, their knowledge levels were not extensive in most of the survey areas. A majority of respondents were willing to attend training, and all three groups ranked the recognition of maltreatment of children with disabilities as a top training priority.


It was concluded that these integral players in the response to maltreatment of children with disabilities are receptive to becoming more effective partners, by attending training to bridge the knowledge gaps they possess. The current study helps document the nature of those knowledge gaps and, thereby informs the development of training programs for building a more coordinated and informed response to maltreatment of children with disabilities.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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