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Synopsis

Child Abuse as a social problem in the Caribbean has only within the past thirty years gained recognition and attention since the emphasis was placed on the more prevalent maternal and child health problems. The phenomenon of child abuse and neglect, however, is not clearly defined due to inadequate surveillance systems within the territories. Studies based on reported cases have established that there are traditional child rearing practices which adversely affect some Caribbean children due to many factors ranging from poverty, inequality, oppression, gender issues, socio-economic disadvantages and loss of values. Because of these deficiencies, various forms of child abuse have been identified particularly in the urban areas which may be considered the outcome of abnormalities in the parent /child relationship and of the society. The Book presents a comprehensive portrayal of the phenomenon of child abuse and neglect in Caribbean society drawing on research and clinical experience. It incorporates history, case scenarios and a variety of effective intervention strategies. In addition, it explains case management procedures focusing on how various professions can become involved in the child protection process; and the need to convey in a different light the changes that need to occur to break the cycle of child abuse and neglect. The Book is written for professionals who work in the best interest of children on a daily basis and intended to offer a good basic introduction to the topic. It is a useful tool for therapists, educators, students, social workers, nurses, police officers. It is intended to stimulate those who read it not only to improve their day-to-day practice in responding to child abuse but will also broaden their perspective about child abuse and neglect. The Book also explains how the needs of children and the relationship between them and their parents are predictive of child abuse and neglect; and examines its nature, causes, recognition and response, its effects on children, the legislation and the social and other obstacles to effective implementation of the Law. The author draws attention to the fact that the majority of this study focuses primarily on people of African descent since little is known about children in other ethnic groups.

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