Die psigososiale behoeftes van maatskaplike werkers tydens ondersoeke na seksuele misbruik van kinders
Luyt, Hendrina Magdalena
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Sexual abuse of children is a complex problem that holds far-reaching consequences for the child and his / her family. It is a criminal act of power and control that has an impact on all people regardless of age, race, culture and economic status (Statistics, 2014). The handling of sexual abuse is a service field of social work in which social workers are designated by law to investigate cases of sexual abuse of children and the allegations thereof, according to the Children's Act No 32 of 2005 (SA, 2005). During investigations into child sexual abuse social workers experience intense, powerful feelings that have an emotional impact on the social worker and his / her role functioning (Cussons, 2011:2). It is important for social workers to possess the necessary knowledge, skills and resources to facilitate service delivery (Van Wyk, 2011:65). The objective of this research was to determine the psychosocial needs of social workers during investigations into child sexual abuse in order to establish the nature of social workers' needs, conscious experiences and observable behaviour. The researcher used the qualitative approach. The interpretive descriptive research design as a research strategy was used to determine the psychosocial needs of social workers during investigations into child sexual abuse. Eleven participants took part in the study and data was collected by means of semi-structured interviews with each participant individually. The qualitative data were transcribed into themes and sub-themes to be analysed by a coding system according to the proposed framework of Tesch (in Creswell, 2009:186). Eight themes were identified: (1) role requirements, (2) role expectations, (3) emotional needs, (4) physical needs, (5) social needs, (6) cultural needs, (7) spiritual needs and (8) development and growth. These themes were divided into sub-themes and categories, and appropriate narratives as discussed in the interviews. The information was checked with literature and some conclusions and recommendations were made. Investigations into child sexual abuse are high-intensity cases which require immediate action from social workers. It was found that social workers experienced a strong demand for debriefing and support during their involvement with these investigations. It seems that social workers dealing with these cases experience unique psychosocial needs. If these needs are not addressed, it can lead to negative role functioning, occupational stress and even burnout of these social workers. The following recommendations can be made, namely that: * support working groups be presented for debriefing opportunities; * organizations establish working groups that focus on stress; * child sexual abuse be seen as a speciality field; * social workers be trained as case managers of the investigation into child sexual abuse; * professional role-players involved be trained through workshops in respect of their own and others' obligations; * resources be recruited and obtained.
- Humanities