The issue of child maltreatment accusations being leveled against a backdrop of high-intensity parental dispute, in the context of parental separation, is a worrisome phenomenon. The current study was designed to spotlight this phenomenon from the perspectives of social workers working in a child advocacy center (CAC) in Israel, and focused on in-depth analyses of 95 cases of children who arrived there. More specifically, the research questions were targeted towards mapping and characterizing the alleged maltreatment and characterizing the practitioners' encounters with both the children and the parents. The analyses revealed two main themes – “chaos” and “danger” – which illustrate the impact of the intersection between maltreatment accusations and high-intensity parental disputes, in the context of parental separation, on both children and parents. These themes reflect the enormous challenges for social workers working in this context, and emphasize the need to advance knowledge and develop appropriate practitioner training programs. The current study also calls for policymakers to recognize this phenomenon as one requiring definition and attention so that resources can be better allocated for prevention and intervention efforts.
- Child maltreatment accusations
- High-intensity parental dispute
- Social workers
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science