The CCSW is one who practices generalist social work practice in a clinical setting and who also assists the child therapeutically during the investigative process and court proceedings.
The CCSW, as a trained professional in understanding the dynamics of child sexual abuse, can be in a pivotal position to assess the potential usefulness of this role.
The mediating role of the CCSW can help settle disputes that may arise between family members or among other members of the professional team.
If the family member feels that the CCSW is siding with the child and not willing to listen to her side of the issue, she will terminate counseling, and may pull the child out of treatment as well.
For children who are at risk of unusual stress from legal involvement, protective measures, such as closed-circuit television (Cashmore, 1992), testifying behind a screen, or statements in chambers should be advocated for by the CCSW.
If the district attorney indicates that it will be necessary for Julie to testify and a face to face confrontation will likely occur, the CCSW should help Julie prepare for that event through linking her with a court preparation program, providing courtroom education herself, and by teaching her stress reduction tec hniques such as relaxation or desensitization.
Darcy Clay Siebert, MSW, CCSW
, CEAP, is a doctoral student, School of Social Work, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 301 Pittsboro Street, Campus Box 3550, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3550; e-mail: dsiebert@email.