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Education and training for professionals in child sexual abuse

Education and training for professionals in child sexual abuse Another area for consideration is the education and training for professionals working
in the area of child sexual abuse, including child protective services workers. While
licensing and continuing education have already been implemented in many areas,
some consideration needs to be given to the minimum requirements necessary for
professionals in a decision-making capacity. For example, individuals without a
graduate degree in a medical or mental health field could be (a) required to work under
the supervision of a professional with that training; (b) limited in the interventions
they are allowed to do; and (c) restricted from making decisions about cases. Given
the number of child protective services workers that maintain institutionalized biases,
workers with decision-making capacities should also be screened to determine
whether they have an adequate knowledge base and whether they maintain biases
detrimental to the victims or their families. Those who do maintain serious biases
should be screened out of positions that place them in contact with the families or in
positions to make decisions.
For all professionals, trainings should be developed or continued that allow
self-examination. Because studies suggest that personal biases influence decisions
and frame beliefs, self-examination is an important function for clinicians. Basic
education programs for mandated reporters should also be developed, as too many
continue to hold false beliefs about child sexual abuse.

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