A skills and needs analysis among social workers assessing alleged child sexual abuse in the Western Cape
Iffley, Roché Shandré
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This study focuses on the skills and needs of forensic social workers, working with alleged child sexual abuse in the Western Cape. Forensic social work is based on specialised knowledge drawn from established principles and their application within proven methodology of training, familiarity with the law, evaluation and objective criteria associated with treatment outcomes. The scope of forensic social work thus includes a specialised skill where human service systems communicate the language in the context of legal systems. This means that the forensic process must withstand critical review and rebuttal from opposing parties in a legal system. It is evident that a forensic social worker needs to have specialised training and specific skills, focusing on forensic investigative interviews, all aspects of child sexual abuse and how the South African justice system operates. Without these skills, the legal process may not be successful and the prevention of child sexual abuse not as successful as it might otherwise be. The general aim of the study was to analyse the skills and needs of social workers assessing allegations of child sexual abuse in order to assist organisations working in the field of forensic social work by improving their support training practices in forensic social work. The researcher used a quantitative descriptive design also known as a survey design. This design usually makes use of a questionnaire as a data collection method and nineteen (19) respondents were selected according to a randomised method of sampling. The findings form part of a list of recommendations to participating welfare organisations.
- Health Sciences