Child Abuse and Culture: Working with Diverse Families by Lisa Aronson Fontes

By Lisa Aronson Fontes

This expertly written booklet presents an available framework for culturally efficient perform with young children and households in baby maltreatment instances. quite a few doable thoughts and urban examples are offered to aid readers handle cultural matters at every one degree of the evaluate and intervention strategy. pros and scholars research new methods of wondering their very own cultural viewpoints as they achieve serious talents for maximizing the accuracy of checks for actual and sexual abuse; overcoming language limitations in guardian and baby interviews; respecting households' values and ideology whereas making sure kid's security; making a welcoming corporation surroundings; and more.

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In workshops, I sometimes ask participants who their families turned to when facing a crisis while they were growing up. The results usually look something like this: African American participants say they turned to clergy or a senior member of the extended family; Latinos say they turned to a godparent or grandparent, to clergy, or directly to God; White Anglo-Saxon Protestants often say they had no crises growing up, but if they admit to such crises they say they could not imagine their parents turning to anyone outside the family; Jewish participants say their families would turn to a doctor or a psychotherapist; Irish participants say their parents would turn to a priest or a police officer; Cambodian participants say they turned to a monk or community elder; and so on.

4): At a loss for words really describes the feeling of the soul in the “white” language world. Thoughts come into her head in her family’s intimate vocabulary, and she strains to translate those ideas into the accepted form expected in public conversation. She expects that her usual facility with language will be available to her when she begins to speak in public. Instead, there are cold, metal sounds bouncing off her teeth, the act of translation cooling the passion of the thought. . The continual disappointment with the master discourse creates a shroud that covers every utterance with a doubt about its worthiness.

We may want to protect these “similar” individuals from getting caught up in the child welfare and criminal justice systems. We may also hesitate to admit to our colleagues that these people—who may feel like extended family—have done wrong. We may find ourselves 14 CHILD ABUSE AND CULTURE empathizing so strongly with the difficult situation in which parents find themselves that we overlook the harm that may befall their children. • A temptation to deny, minimize, or overlook abuse because it is too painful to admit to oneself that these children—who look like our own nieces and nephews—have been hurt.

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