Assessing non-abusing mothers and partners

In cases of child sexual abuse, the central question relating to a non-abusing mother or partner is ‘Did she know?’

In making decisions over a child’s safety, we must also consider the woman’s ability to protect the child and ask ‘Is she safe?’

This one-day course presents an approach which builds on the standard core assessment but specifically addresses issues related to child sexual abuse. It will be of interest to social workers, psychologists and other practitioners working with families in the field of child sexual abuse.

This training course explores cases of child sexual abuse and decisions related to child safety and the ability of a mother or partner to protect. Often, these decisions are made more difficult by a context of silence, whilst inappropriate denial or minimising by the offender involved creates additional difficulties both for the mother or partner, as well as the professionals working with the family.

Course aims:

Drawing on research and our work with sexual offenders and non-abusing mothers or partners, our course facilitators will discuss:

  • The different patterns and styles of male sex offending
  • How these aid understanding of a mother’s or partner’s situation at the time of the abuse and after disclosure
  • Implications for assessment in cases of suspected, alleged or known sexual abuse, including internet offending.

By the end of the day, you will have a greater understanding of:

  • A mother’s or partner’s response to suspected or disclosed abuse
  • The potential impact of each aspect of the offender’s steps to offending on the mother or partner
  • How to apply this model to the assessment of the mother’s/partner’s ability to protect and related issues
  • The attitudes of children who have been sexually abused to their non-abusing parent/carer
  • The impact of the offender on the mother/child relationship
  • The intervention needs of the mother and child
  • A format for assessing mothers and partners’ based on the standard core assessment but related specifically to child sexual abuse.