An examination of some inter-disciplinary relationships between the professionals involved in child abuse and neglect case management in the military community




Martin, John T.,1924-

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Sam Houston State University


The primary purpose of the study was to identify some of the inter-disciplinary problems involved when a multidisciplinary team concept is utilized to attack the specific medical social problem posed by child abuse and neglect case management in the military community. The secondary purpose was to examine local, Army installation’s implementation of Army Child Advocacy Program (ACAP) which went into effect Army-wide on February 1, 1976. Special attention was afforded the Child Protection Case Management Team (CPCMT) concept included as a part of the ACAP. Methods Information for this study was obtained from: (1) an examination of pertinent Army regulations; (2) a review of pertinent literature available; (3) an examination of responses to a questionnaire specifically designed to survey the personal opinions of military community professionals (those people with potential to act in some official capacity in child abuse and neglect case management); and (4) a considerable number of informal interviews with military community professionals and policy makers. Findings The following facts were determined from the information and evidence assembled during the study. The Army was late to provide any sort of policy or standard guidance in the area of child advocacy. Consequently, when implementation of an Army-wide ACAP was directed, it was in immediate competition with a variety of local programs that had been in operation up to several years. The result is less than satisfactory compliance with the ACAP. Specifically in the area of child abuse and neglect case management, the ACAP formalized CPCMT procedures based on the same model that most local case management programs had adopted. While program competition was not significant, new roles or dimensions were added for which the local professional practitioners were neither prepares nor equipped to fulfill. The result is some degree of confusion and frustration. Problem awareness is extremely high. Service delivery professionals expressed a wide range of opinions that coincide less than twenty-five percent of the time with Army imposed guidelines and procedures. Much evidence points to the lack of effective interdisciplinary communication in the subject area with accompanying feeling of resentment and helplessness. Cooperation among case management participants was found to be adequate, but areas for improvements were noted. Professional training in child abuse and neglect was determined to be sorely lacking. Professionals were found to be simultaneously highly opinionated and critical of disciplines other than their own and not free with suggestions to improve the system. A top-level, Department of the Army push was determined to be needed to have the spirit and the letter of the Army Child Advocacy Program become a reality.



Child abuse, Child welfare, Children of military personnel