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Child Abuse Negl. 1982;6(4):465-72.

A survey of state efforts in gathering information on child abuse and neglect in handicapped populations.


This paper reports the extent to which states assemble information on the incidence of abuse and neglect among handicapped populations. Data were collected from all states on the types of pre-existing disabilities cited on child abuse reporting forms and the perceived accuracy of this information. The study also sought to identify specific methods used to provide assistance to local agencies regarding the problems associated with abuse of the handicapped. Surveys were distributed to and completed by representatives of the designated child protection agencies within each state and the District of Columbia (n = 51). General findings were that although it is generally acknowledged in research that handicapped children represent a disproportionate number of abuse and neglect victims, nearly half of the states do not collect any information on "special characteristics." Forms from the remaining states exhibited much variation in style and in the competency of collection techniques. These results suggest a significant lack of services specifically designed to improve the awareness of field representatives on the influence of exceptionalities in abusive cases. This information indicates that training and prevention programs will remain basically inadequate until the relationship between handicapped conditions and abuse/neglect is more clearly defined.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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