AbstractsWomens Studies

A generalist practice framework to address the co-occurrence of child and woman abuse in South Africa

by S. Hanson

Institution: University of Johannesburg
Year: 2014
Keywords: Family violence - Research - South Africa; Problem families - Research - South Africa; Victims of family violence - Research - South Africa
Record ID: 1413955
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10210/9734


Both woman and child abuse are pervasive social phenomena that affect woman and children of all races, nationalities, socio-economic groups and cultures. The co-occurrence of woman and child abuse is a social phenomenon that remains largely misunderstood by the public. Although the two categories of abuse often occur together, they are dealt with separately at an intervention level and managed by different institutions, non-governmental organisations and agencies. Child welfare organisations focus on child abuse often misdiagnosing or,ignoring woman abuse and women's organisations focus on woman abuse not making the link between woman and child abuse. This study assumes that the intervention of social workers isinfluenced by their theoretical framework and that a third theoretical framework is required to address this bifurcation in services to abused women and 'children. . This study examines the phenomenon of woman and child abuse co-occurring in the same family system and the implications that this has for practice. The findings of the study show a definite split in services provided to abused children and those provided to abused women. This split is seen not only in service provision but also in the theoretical frameworks of the social workers concerned, as well as the philosophies and mandates of the organisations for which they work. In addition, it was found that the phenomenon of woman and child abuse co-occurring is not well recognised or understood by social workers often leading to inappropriate and ineffective responses. The generalist practice framework is put forward as a means of addressing this phenomenon holistically and effectively. This framework is used to draw on aspects of the child welfare approach as well as the feminist approach and includes aspects of the strengths perspective and developmental social welfare to ensure a contextually appropriate framework. The Generalist Practice Model as described by Kirst, Ashman & Hull (2002) is utilized as a guideline for addressing woman and child abuse in same family systems.