0070-534.10 | Revision Date: 07/01/14
This policy guide provides information on assessing and investigating allegations of emotional abuse.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Policy <![CDATA[ ]]>
Assessment of Emotional Abuse
Investigating Allegations of Emotional Abuse
Helpful Links <![CDATA[ ]]>
Referenced Policy Guides <![CDATA[ ]]>
This policy guide was updated from the 12/19/11 version, as part of the Policy Redesign, in accordance with the DCFS Strategic Plan.
Emotional abuse"Emotional abuse" refers to nonphysical mistreatment, the results of which may be characterized by disturbed behavior on the part of the child such as severe withdrawal, regression, bizarre behavior, hyperactivity, or dangerous acting-out behavior. refers to a situation when a person willfully causes or permits a child to suffer, inflicts unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering on a child, or willfully causes or permits the child to be placed in a situation in which their health is endangered while under their custody.
To determine if emotional abuse has occurred, there must be information on the caregiver’s behavior and the child’s behavior and condition over a period of time. CSW’s determine whether there is a chronic behavioral pattern of emotional abuse. Behavior alone is not deemed, in and of itself, to be evidence of emotional abuse.
Examples of caregiver’s behavior associated with emotional abuse can include but are not limited to:
Emotional abuse is typically not an isolated incident. Occasional negative attitudes or actions are not considered emotional abuse. Indicators of suspected emotional abuse may include, but are not limited to the following. The child:
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0070-548.10, Disposition of Allegations and Closure of Emergency Response Referrals
0070-548.24, Structural Decision Making (SDM)
0070-548.25, Completing the Structured Decision Making (SDM) Safety Plan
0400-503.10, Contact Requirement and Exceptions
California Code of Civil Procedure Section 527.6 (a)(3) – Defines harassment as “unlawful violence [or] a credible threat of violence … that seriously alarms, annoys, or harasses the person, and that serves no legitimate purpose. The course of conduct must be such as would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress, and must actually cause substantial emotional distress to the petitioner.
California Department of Social Services (CDSS) Manual of Policies and Procedures (MPP) Sections 31-002(c)(9)(A) – Defines emotional abuse as referring to nonphysical mistreatment, resulting in disturbed behavior on the part of the child such as severe withdrawal, regression, bizarre behavior, hyperactivity, or dangerous acting-out behavior.
CDSS MPP 31-002(e)(13) – Defines “exploitation" as forcing or coercing a child into performing functions which are beyond his/her capabilities or capacities, or into illegal or degrading acts. The term also includes sexual exploitation as defined by Penal Code Section 11165.1(c).
Penal Code Section 11165.3, – Defines emotional abuse as “the willful harming or injuring of a child or the endangering of the person or health of a child” and as a situation in which any person willfully causes or permits any child to suffer, or inflicts thereon, unjustifiable mental suffering.
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