To criticize and find remedies for one part of the system while ignoring the others is an unfulfilling exercise in futility, besides being a waste of money and effort.
Vincent Fontana (1984),
‘When systems fail: protecting the victim of child sexual abuse’
This chapter will attempt to provide a framework in which community agencies can address and respond to the many problems involved in dealing with child sexual abuse. It will also provide the context for following chapters which deal more specifically with treatment issues.
The need for early identification and comprehensive services is paramount (Shamroy 1980; Topper 1979). Community agencies of control and change in the health care, social service, and legal systems must intervene co-operatively to ensure a society nurturing of and safe for children. The three primary types of intervention on behalf of protection of children are: (1) protection of children—traditionally administered by social services, (2) change treatment—traditionally the realm of therapy, and (3) punishment—traditionally administered by the police (Porter 1984). Each of these components will be discussed with focus on their contribution to an interdisciplinary model.
Conte and Berliner (1981) outline the necessary objectives to be accomplished from a social work or child-protection perspec-