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Robert Geffner, The Historical, Current State, and Future Needs for Identification and Evaluation of Child Abuse

The Historical, Current State, and Future Needs for Identification and Evaluation of Child Abuse

Robert Geffner*

This presentation focuses on the strategies and techniques that have been used in evaluating child abuse allegations in the past, currently, and best practices for the future. Suggestions for assessment, interviewing, and differential diagnosis are presented. Examples of different objective and projective measures are shown and discussed. These are very difficult and complex cases from mental health/social work, criminal justice, child welfare, and legal perspectives. This workshop exposes some of these myths, controversies, and false assumptions, and discusses appropriate procedures and consensus approaches for professionals in such cases. Guarding against overt and subtle biases are also emphasized.


Participants will be able to:

  1. Improve skills in evaluating with children who have alleged abuse or have been exposed to domestic violence;
  2. List two myths that can occur in cases with child abuse allegations;
  3. Describe two of the best practices in interviewing children who allege abuse.



*Prof. Robert Geffner • Ph.D., ABPP, ABN, Founding President, Family Violence & Sexual Assault Institute (FVSAI) dba Institute on Violence, Abuse, & Trauma (IVAT); Distinguished Research Professor, Alliant International University, San Diego, CA; Past President/Founding Member, National Partnership to End Interpersonal Violence Across the Lifespan (NPEIV); Past Chair, Divisions for Social Justice, American Psychological Association; Past President, American Academy of Couple & Family Psychology; Past President/Founding Member, Trauma Psychology Division, American Psychological Association; Diplomat in Clinical Neuropsychology and Board Certified in Couple & Family Psychology; Licensed Psychologist; Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist; Editor of 4 peer-reviewed journals.


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