Police Response to Child Sexual Abuse: Recommendations Based on Available Research.

responding to child maltreatment. Note the focus is not on descriiption of a type of maltreatment (although that may be included in a brief background or statement of the problem) but on the response (usually by some part of the system, community, or profession) to child maltreatment with a focus on implications for responders, laws, practices, or policies. The paper must review relevant scientific research (if evidence-based research is available for your topic include this), build on theories and concepts covered in the class and include a statement of the problem, review of relevant research, discussion of the theoretical perspective you are taking, and presentation of implications for responders.

Please note:

A RESEARCH TERM paper is NOT the same as a case study, a position paper, an issues paper, an argumentative paper, or a pro/con analysis. You are to write a SCIENTIFIC paper. There is no need for you to editorialize on the world today or to express your feelings (Avoid “I feel…” statements). The purpose of a research term paper is to ANALYZE objectively. Such a paper should look and feel scholarly as if written for a graduate level SCIENTIFIC AUDIENCE, not simply for your instructor or your classmates, and certainly not for the general public. The aim of such a paper is to communicate the complex concepts and ideas of an academic discipline or multiple disciplines, arrange those ideas systematically, analyze what we know and don’t know about the topic and offer appropriate scholarly discussion of the significance of what you analyzed, conclusions you can make based on the research, and what directions for further research and study would be helpful to scholars, policy makers and practitioners clearly and succinctly.

you may want to think about as you complete the paper is the extent to which police officers (as in patrol) are trained to respond to csa and then the role of detectives… of course some may depend on the jurisdiction and how investigations are handled these and the resources available. !!


1)Cross TP, Finkelhor, D. & Ormrod, R. (2005). Police involvement in child protective services investigations: Literature review and secondary data analysis. Child Maltreatment, 10: 224-244.

2)Font, SA, Gershoff, ET. Foster Care: How We Can, and Should, Do More for Maltreated Children. Soc Policy Rep. 2020; 33: 1– 40.

3)Richard J. Gelles, (2016) Why the American Child Welfare System is not Child Centered, 24 Wm. & Mary Bill Rts. J. 733,

4)Gelles, Richard (2107) Creating and Effective Child Welfare System. Manhattan Institute institute.org/creating-effective-child-welfare-system 5)Williams (2015) Journal of Crime and Justice. Police and domestic sex trafficking of youth: What teens tell us that can aid prevention and interdiction

10)Sumampouw, Ruiter, Otgaa(2021). Potential for police investigator bias: the impact of child sexual abuse victims’ background characteristics on perceived statement credibility, case outcome and quality of interview questions.

Cashmore, Taylor, Parkinson (2019). Fourteen-Year Trends in the Criminal Justice Response to Child Sexual Abuse Reports in New South Wales.

Daly, L. W. (n.d.). Police officers do not receive adequate training to prepare them to handle child sexual abuse investigations. Issues in Child Abuse Accusations, 15(1), 1–13. Retrieved September 28, 2022, from .

Guadagno, B. L., Powell, M. B., & Wright, R. (2006). Police Officers’ and Legal Professionals’ Perceptions Regarding How Children Are, and Should Be, Questioned About Repeated Abuse. Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, 13(2), 251–260.

Lonsway, K. A., Welch, S., & Fitzgerald, L. F. (2001). Police Training in Sexual Assault
Response: Process, Outcomes, and Elements of Change. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 28(6), 695–730.

Millar, A., Saxton, M., Øverlien, C. et al. Police Officers Do Not Need More Training; But Different Training. Policing Domestic Violence and Abuse Involving Children: A Rapid Review. J Fam Viol 37, 1071–1088 (2022).00325-x

Powell, M. B. (2008). Designing effective training programs for investigative interviewers of children. Current Issues in Criminal Justice, 20(2), 189–208.

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