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Linda Blokland - Assessing and Managing Child Abuse in a South African Context

Assessing and Managing Child Abuse in a South African Context

Linda Blokland

In the democratic South Africa health care professionals are challenged by confounding factors when attempting to assess and manage child abuse.

The environment is in many areas violent and apparently oblivious to the needs of the young child. Some of this is driven by the complex unmet needs of a fragmented society, while one cannot disregard other factors such as the violent turmoil experienced by generations in a specific historical context.

The above contextualises the developmental milieu in which millions of children are raised. While abuse of children cannot be normalised, the contextual factors often seem to be. For the professional the challenge is thus to find ways to sift through the behaviours and expressions that children from these areas present with. In addition language and culture play important roles and narration is often not available as an assessment or therapeutic tool. 

In other areas of the country children find themselves in very different scenarios where more conventional methods can be relied on.

This presentation will explore and discuss the various approaches used to navigate through complex tasks facing the health care provider in the work with children in this field.


Dr. Linda BloklandUniversity of PretoriaPsychology. Skills and Expertise: Professional Development, Mental Illness, Psychological Assessment, Psychopathology, Treatment; Behavioral Psychology; Clinical Assessment; Psychotherapeutic Processes; Child Development; Personality Assessment; Psychological Testing; DSM; Cognitive Development; Developmental Psychopathology; Violence Prevention; Forensic Psychiatry; Supervision

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