Child Protective Separation
The key to stopping the cycle of emotional abuse and neglect in families who have at least one high conflict parent is for Child Protective Services to follow the same procedures for protecting and treating child psychological maltreatment as they do when they encounter physical and sexual abuse.
Child abuse reports by state statutes and clinical indicators
The high conflict environment at home constitutes severe Child psychological maltreatment . “Child psychological maltreatment is non-accidental verbal or symbolic acts by a child’s parent or caregiver that result, or have reasonable potential to result in significant psychological harm to the child” (p. 719, DSM-5 V995.51, 2013).
Each State has a system to receive and respond to reports of possible child abuse and neglect. Professionals and concerned citizens can call statewide hotlines, local child protective services, or law enforcement agencies to share their concerns.
Anyone can report suspected child psychological abuse or neglect.
managing Cases of Severe child psychological abuse
The key to stopping the cycle of high conflict abuse and neglect from a personality disordered parent/caregiver is for Child Protective Services to follow the same procedures for protecting and treating child psychological maltreatment as they do when they encounter physical and sexual abuse.
1. Provide a period of protective separation between the child and the abusive parent for at least 4 months. During this time the high-conflict parent participated in therapy to learn how his or her behaviors are harming the family.
2. The child is placed with the targeted parent and they engage in psycho-educational therapy to repair the disrupted attachment. Although the secure attachment between the targeted parent and the child will naturally resurface once the child is free from the control of the high-conflict parent, psycho-educational work teaches both the targeted parent and the child how to protect themselves against further abuse from the high-conflict parent.
3. Under the supervision of the therapists the family is gradually united. However, if any signs of abuse re-appear, additional periods of protective separation may be required.