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In most cases, different types of maltreatment of the child do not happen in isolation from other kinds of family violence, disorder and abuse. Research conducted in the past established beyond reasonable doubt that violence in marriage and other similar behaviors together with child physical abuse are connected in multifaceted ways (Appel & Holden, 1998; Child Welfare System FAQ, 2011). In families where wife-battering is rampant child abuse is also perpetrated by a male parent. Cases of child neglect have been repeatedly recognized at a time of domestic violence. The victim in most cases has not been the one who is battered but the child who is forced to witness scenes of violence. It turns out to be an insult to the child’s honor and pride (Groves, 2002). Recently, research on the probable effects to the child from exposure to domestic violence has impacted child maltreatment policies and definitions of child endangerment. This has ignited controversy and culminated in a class action complaint against child protective services in the city of New York.
There are a number of behaviors that contribute to the offender’s failure to protect the child. The diagnosis of child neglect normally relies on dysfunction or incapacity of the family unit in providing for the child. The behaviors of neglectful offenders or their failure to protect the child can be classified in different ways. Researchers assert that such neglect could be due to sexual or physical abuse from the perpetrator. Such behaviors have been identified in instances where the parent knowingly allows the child to be exposed to a pedophile or other individual with a child abuse history (Child Welfare System FAQ, 2011). Secondly, the failure to offer appropriate food or nutrition is also considered to be neglect to the child. The parent is considered an offender after documented proof of poor growth has been provided in the outpatient setting.
Parents can be accused of offensive behaviors in instances when they fail to provide a suitable physical environment, such as a good home. Occasions like these are characterized by exposure to poor shelter. Another kind of neglect is evident when the offender does not provide health care to the child. The lack of timely healthcare to the child in the event of physical illness is indicative of failure to protect the child (Child Welfare System FAQ, 2011). There are many other behaviors of offenders that amount to child neglect.
Amidst controversy are practices and policies that define child exposure to adult violence in the family, apart from other neglect and abuse, as definite maltreatment that actually hold mothers responsible for the exposure (Groves, 2002; Zuravin, 1999). The presence of domestic violence is thought to be synonymous with neglect or emotional abuse of the child, or in no way different from situations in the family where presumed failure to offer protection to the child from sexual or physical maltreatment is evident. In the recent times, some states have enacted legislation that makes witnessing violence in the family a kind of criminal abuse to the child. Such behaviors have been eminent, and at the same time they have been the main contributors to child neglect and failure to protect children in general. Nevertheless, it is imperative to establish whether the legislation in essence assists the child and punishes the culprit, or if it is actually being applied unsuitably against women who are victims of domestic violence, and the extent to which that takes place (Edleson, 1999; Grych, Jouriles, Swank, McDonald, & Norwood, 2000).
The failure to protect the child from a specific form of maltreatment, characteristically displayed through neglect in the form of child maltreatment, has in most cases been vaguely defined (Zuravin, 1999). Policies and statutes are in flux as a result of the complexities of the matter and the uncertainty concerning the best reaction when violence in the family is seen as a major threat and harm to the child (Grych et al., 2000). There has been little study on the behaviors of offenders and the consequences for children and women when CPS comes in to investigate families where there have been allegations of the failure to protect related to domestic issues (Edleson, 1999). With the growing trend in instances of failure to protect, welfare agencies concerned with children protection are merely making attempts to connect historical tensions and support differences to deal with the multifaceted problems that have been posed by the co-occurrence of domestic violence and failure to protect the child (Groves, 2002). The resolution of such matters is a challenging effort, since the agencies should learn to balance out the well-being and safety of the child with that of their parents, notwithstanding various priorities of advocacy and different patterns of the engagement of the client (Fleck-Henderson, 2000).
2.1 Failure to Protect the Child
Child neglect has often been regarded as failure to make provisions for the basic needs of the child. Neglect has been considered an act of omission rather than an act of commission when combining such crimes as child abuse. Nevertheless, states criminalize the omission of care that is supposed to be given to the child. The category of maltreatment that includes the maintenance of a secure environment for the child, or an inadequacy thereof, is may be the least distinct element in efforts of defining and legislating neglect (English, Marshall, Brummel & Orme, 1999). Behaviors of offenders in failing to protect the child assume different forms, and thus the definition of such acts must be specific and thorough, if the measures aimed at reducing such behaviors turned out to be successful (Zuravin, 1999). The charges facing the offender who failed to protect the child from a specific danger, such as violence in the family, often exemplify the absence of clarity in such a concept and pertinent legal practices (Groves, 2002). Therefore, protecting the child from abuse in the family could appear, in essence, among the most fundamental parental responsibilities.
Available research data indicates harmful consequences to the child from the exposure to violence in the family. However, there is no agreement on what amounts to a threshold of dangerousness in the exposure of the child. This poses a challenge in determining failure to protect the child from domestic violence a kind of maltreatment, since research has not yet offered exact answers on what threshold of exposure constitutes danger to the child. The abusive patterns can also differ largely due to the moderating factors and the impacts on children (English et al., 1999). All the same, the definition of exposure as neglect related to family violence could be regarded as an instance of confusing cause with effect. Similarly, poverty affects the ability of the parent to provide for the basic needs of the children. In particular, a number of laws do not consider neglect on grounds of poverty (National Council on Child Abuse & Family Violence, 2002).
In establishing the possibility of reducing the behaviors of offenders who neglect or fail to protect the child, it is imperative to establish the definition of the matter (Zuravin, 1999). There are other comparable situations where recognizably destructive factors are neglected in defining the risks to the child or not charging perpetrators of child maltreatment by taking into account the application of corporal punishment and substance abuse by the parents. In most cases, there are a lot of questions and very few simple solutions regarding the general idea of failure to protect the child (Grych et al., 2000). What it all comes down to is whether a failure by the parent to protect the child from any abuse should be dealt with by government agencies. The cumulative injuries effects of emotional insults to the child are a major area of concern.
The defining criterion of the failure to protect requires a thorough scrutiny. Whether to include or preclude causes, such as parental disability, poverty, domestic violence or substance abuse, is the main area of concern (Zuravin, 1999). It is yet unclear whether the definition should focus on the parent’s action or the failure of the parent to act. The ultimate standard is also thought to include the consequences for the child, including actual evidence or potential long-term injury (Zuravin, 1999). These are some of the main dilemmas that are inherent in determining standards of categorizing the failure to protect the child.
2.2 Dealing with Offenders who Neglect the Child
There has been a change from the pathological perception of neglectful and abusive families toward efforts that endeavor to target skills of parenting and education together with reducing stress related to parenting. Therefore, identifying families at risk of abuse is important in the efforts of prevention. Ultimately, just like many approaches to treatment, particular efforts of prevention are geared towards helping and supporting the would-be offenders who are in most cases the parents. Home programs of visitation are among the approaches that have been used. They normally include targeting the new parents to offer some insight and mold initial interactions between the child and the parent (National Council on Child Abuse & Family Violence, 2002). The specific in-home methods take into account visitation programs facilitated by nurses. These have demonstrated a lot of efficacy in enhancing behaviors of protecting the child and promote the reduction in child maltreatment rates, among other benefits. Moreover, such programs offer both education and support for the parents, as well as prevent physical abuse of the child.
Other related remedies include Project Safe Care targeting families at risk of neglect and abuse, which may be categorized as a selected/secondary effort. The in-home strategy has been proved to enhance the health care of child, home safety and boosting the relationship between the child and the parent (Cohen, Deblinger, Mannarino & Steer, 2004). Alternative global approaches of prevention are group interventions, which provide parents with a chance to attain acknowledgement and support for one another. They are usually effective in offering motivation to parents to commit to such services due to the network of support inherent in the group. Interventions of this nature could be offered through community-based programs and local schools, and are known to have produced positive results, such as improved parental functioning, positive interactions between the child and the parent, and boosted network of social support.
Instead of primarily targeting parents, some efforts of prevention adopt a wider focus through targeting society in an effort to prevent maltreatment of the child. The argument behind this approach is that child maltreatment is a product of not merely parenting deficits or problems in behavior, but of different social factors, such as unemployment and poverty, that exert impact on the occurrence of neglect and abuse. A number of organizations at the local and national levels have endeavored to increase awareness of the public concerning the issue of child abuse for a number of decades now. For instance, Prevent Child Abuse America (PCAA) has provided support for public service announcements by highlighting the dangers of abuse since the 1970s. Such endeavors have been linked with increased awareness to the public together with increased child abuse reports. Other efforts, such as the Nebraska Health and Human Services public awareness campaign carried out under the slogan “You Have the Power to Protect a Child” and the Virginia Blue Ribbon Campaign to Prevent Child Abuse, are representative of nation-wide approaches to alert people about the horror of neglect and failure to protect the child. This has been undertaken in an effort to see whether the society would change its behavior by making a more focused commitment to protecting the child (Cohen et al., 2004).
Child abuse could partly stem from growing coercive interactions between the parent and the child. For instance, parent offenders failing to protect the child show negative conceptualizations concerning the child. Such behaviors include a concept that the only successful discipline methods are those that involve physical coercion and punitive actions. Approaches that have been utilized assist offending caregivers in changing these perceptions, and at the same time interrupt the patterns of coercion that develop in the child (Cohen et al., 2004). Generally, such interventions target children displaying behavior problems and include teaching skills to parents meant to promote the compliance of the child, decrease disruptive tendencies and behaviors, and propel positive interactions between the child and the parent (English et al., 1999).
2.3 Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT)
One of the major interventions that have been employed is the Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT). This intervention model has received a lot of support as a treatment that is widely acceptable. When applied on the basis of physical abuse, PCIT targets the shortfalls in the dysfunctional relationship between the child and the parent that can amount to violence. PCIT has successfully reduced behavior problems and increased interaction between the child and the parent in a positive way. It has in reality reduced the chance of future child abuse. Moreover, PCIT has shown a lot of success across different populations, with treatment benefits having been achieved across different settings and time, and even including untreated siblings and close associates. Different other interventions have been put in place, including social learning theory and the cognitive behavioral therapy (Cohen et al., 2004).
2.4 Social Learning Theory
2.4.1 Addressing Offending Behavior
The offender’s failure to protect the child can be explained in a number of ways (Natoli, 2002). One of them is genetics, which hypothesizes that antisocial and aggressive behaviors are a result of markers of a specific genetic composition passed down from the parent to the child. The offending behavior in child neglect can be described through the social learning theory. On the other hand, the behaviorist approach asserts that the development of offending behavior is a result of social learning or conditioning. Even though each of these explanations has merits, genetic explanations have faced criticism for its failure to show conclusively how different behaviors can be regarded as expression of sole genotype. Current evidence suggests that this is a more multifaceted matter, which can not only be expressed through the genetic composition of an individual.
Consequently, behaviorism became one of the prominent areas of study in the 20th century (Anderson 2000). It considers such factors as classical conditioning, a connection between a stimulus and a response, response to social learning and behavior consequences, operant conditioning and a response to imitation and observation. The diagnosis of failure to protect is based on the potential or imminent risk of danger to the child emanating from the failure of the caregiver to meet the needs of the child. It is imperative to draw a clear line between the importance of failure to protect and causing more harm. The neglect of specific conditions will most certainly require a report to the State Central Register or a local hotline in order to prevent further injury or probable mortality and morbidity (Natoli, 2002).
Social learning theory proposes that offending behavior is acquired by way of direct reinforcement, imitation or modeling. Bandura (1977) asserted that a four-step paradigm took place in the process of modeling. Firstly, attention was given to the initial step where a person notices something in the surrounding. Secondly, retention occurs, i.e. the person remembers what was actually noticed like in the case with a criminal act. Thirdly, reproduction occurs where the person produces an exact copy of the action that was originally noticed. And ultimately reinforcement (indirect and direct punishment and reinforcement) is realized, i.e. the surrounding relies on the possibility of the action being reproduced for another time (Brehm, Fein and Kassin 2002).
Thus, Bandura explains the fact that a person, especially children, imitate particular crime acts, such as aggression, antisocial behavior, violence and delinquency, through modeling and observing the behavior of others, either individually or by way of the environment and media. He further reiterated that reinforcement, such as tension reduction, gaining rewards of finances, attaining people’s praise, or building self-esteem and confidence, increases the chances of a criminal act being repeated. The behavior of the offender is likely to be dealt with if the entire concept of social learning is understood (Anderson, 2000).
In their study of imitation and aggression using bobo-the-doll, Bandura et al. (1961) found out that children were more likely to imitate the behavior displayed in a particular situation when they are left alone with a doll after being mildly frustrated. Later on, Bandura et al. carried out disparate variations of the research and realized that imitations were even more certainly to cause the behavior in the event that the model was rewarded of a high-level category like a favorite hero in TV, in a situation where the child identified with the same sex model, and in an instance when the models were used instead of a cartoon or a film.
Some cases of neglect or failure to protect the child like failure in nutrition to thrive as a result of poor skills of parenting can be dealt with through the provision of food and parental access, among other services. Except in cases where there is severe failure in nutrition or even non-compliance with the stipulated recommendations, such cases usually do not need to be reported to any hotline. The offending behavior of parents on the child happens both directly and indirectly. Such research proposes that aggression is indicative of criminality in future and other kinds of offending behavior (Anderson, 2000; Cohen et al., 2004). Such kind of behavior is learned through a modeling process. The reinforcement principles, imitation and modeling of behavior have been identified by a number of psychologists, and ultimately are represented all through the work of a number of prominent social learning theorists. A research by Sears et al. (1965) focused on the applicability of social learning theory to processes of socialization. The argument made was that people observe and at the same time internalize values, behavior and attitudes predominant in their culture. The conclusion made was that the behavior of the offender is occasioned by the observational learning that takes place at the early life stages.
The findings made by social learning theorists are important in explaining the influences of the media on offender/antisocial behavior. For instance, Bandura’s Bobo doll study is regarded as the first phase of scientific research into the impacts of media violence. The main finding was that children get new aggressive reactions, not formerly found in their behavioral repertoire, mainly through exposure to a model that is televised. Therefore, if people could learn ways of harming other people by using the media, it is evident that the presence of criminal behavior in the mass media could be a contributing factor to such levels of offending behavior, such as antisocial actions, violence and aggression done to the child. The implications of policy pertinent to the social learning theory and such like consequences would make suggestions of reducing the behavior of the offender by reducing the access to criminal models in our social settings. This would be very useful in modeling the kind of people who are expected to see the importance of the child and give them the proper treatment (Wekerle & Wolfe, 1998). This can be achieved eventually, even until the individual becomes a parent. The attitudes of offenders can be changed and confronted. In reducing the behavior of the offender who neglects or fails to protect the child, the balance of reinforcement can be changed to support more pro-social behaviors.
Social learning theory has been used to explain the impact of environmental risk elements, such as coercive domestic environments (Anderson, 2000). This implies that parents solve their disputes in an aggressive manner. By so doing, the child models behavior on such. The actions of the parents offend the child. The behavior of the parent fails to protect the child who is supposed to grow without such kind of defilement. This is a very consequential neglect and failure to protect the child that can be effectively addressed through social learning theory. Much more associations between environmental risk factors and offending behavior, identified all through social learning theory and successive research have been studied rigorously (Deater-Deckard et al, 1998). Studies like this have pointed out risk factors in the enhancement of offending behavior to take into account the characteristics of a person, such as temperament and gender, the characteristics of the guardian/parent like antisocial actions and mental health, practices of parenting like child control approaches, attitudes and teaching skills, the ecology of the family like stress, marital relations and socio-economic status and finally the relationship of the child and the parent touching on emotional availability and attachment.
Another social/environmental element that has been identified as having connections with social learning is pressure from peers. Peer pressure has been for years hypothesized to be a significant factor in the development of deviant behavior among human beings leading to serious offending and reckless upbringing of the child by the parents in this case. Competition from other families can easily make parents neglect the child to serve their own selfish ends. They get overambitious at the expense of the child. In the end, the child is no longer a main focus, and this result in child neglect. The social learning theory takes into consideration differences between people (Anderson, 2000). Individuals behave differently due to disparities in direct and indirect reinforcement experiences. Cultural differences may also contribute to offensive behavior amongst individuals who neglect and fail to protect the child. Different cultures have been found to reinforce different behaviors and at the same time model different behaviors.
2.4.2 Limitation of Social Learning Theory
The findings made by Bandura (1977) and Sears et al (1965) could just have been a result of the demand characteristics of the study. That could be an unfamiliar social condition in which the children had to search for cues to know what to do with the Bobo doll. Moreover, the experiment made by Bandura has faced criticism for being largely simplified because human beings are not ever rewarded for aggression. Usually, such people are punished, which implies that the social learning theory may not provide a thorough description of offender behavior. Moreover, research conducted on the social learning description of the enhancement of offender behavior does not take into account the effects caused by emotional factors or factors of biology. However, Bandura (1977) acknowledged that factors of biology form an integral part of any account. For instance, an aggressive urge is a factor of biology; which has been directly and indirectly linked to the way and time of expressing aggression.
Theorists of biology assert that the social learning theory absolutely ignores a person’s state of biology. Moreover, they alleged that social learning theory does not acknowledge the disparities of people as a result of the brain and genetics differences, as well as differences in learning. Additionally, the social learning theory does not take into account the operant and classical conditioning processes (Anderson, 2000). The preparedness of biology of a person to learn and the role of the brain in processing information from the surrounding, are significant to learning theory, although they are overlooked through the social learning theory.
On the other hand, social learning theory is thought to ignore determinism where individuals make a choice of who to model, since it is not forced or determined, and factors of personality underplay the cognition role (Anderson, 2000). Many studies have conclusively shown that personality and cognitive factors are pertinent to a wide range of antisocial, delinquent and criminal behaviors. As a substitute, the diathesis-stress model proposes that personality, or biological inclination coupled with stress caused by some event, triggers in the environment that inclination. Therefore, crime results from an inclination toward offender behavior due to stressful environment and lack of coping skills. Other contributing factors include mental/clinical disorders, such as schizophrenia and depression, or personality disorders, e.g. psychopathy, antisocial personality disorder and sociopathy. From the standpoint of psychology, offender behavior can be explained by Freud’s psychodynamic theory, Bowlby’s maternal deprivation hypothesis and Kohlberg’s theory of moral development (Cohen et al., 2004).
Generally, social learning theory postulates that offending behavior is learned through imitation, reinforcement and modeling. The experiment that was conducted by Bandura provided proof in support of social learning theory, and also indicated a connection between environmental experiences and offending behavior. However, the social learning theory and pertinent research has faced criticism due to ignoring, personality, cognitive, biological factors and determinism coupled with its oversimplified nature. Social learning theory has been instrumental in defining offending behaviors, such as aggression, violence and anti-social acts, e.g. child abuse. Such a thorough approach which takes into account biological, cognitive and environmental factors could provide deeper insights into this area (Zuravin, 1999; Groves, 2002).
2.5 Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Offending Behavior
2.5.1 Trauma Focused-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT)
One of the troubling effects that cause the parents to neglect the child and fail to protect them is trauma. The success of Trauma Focused-CBT is supported through outcome studies, as well as promising programs of treatment. The effectiveness of Trauma Focused- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) has been thoroughly tested (Cohen & Mannarino 1996a; Deblinger et al., 2001; Cohen et al., 2004). The findings of these studies were consistent in demonstrating the usefulness of TF-CBT in reducing behavioral symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) together with behavioral difficulties and depression symptoms in people who have experienced traumas. In randomized clinical trials comparing TF-CBT to other documented services and models, such as non-directive play therapy, supportive therapy and person-centered therapy, TF-CBT demonstrated greater value in a smaller number of clinical sessions. Follow-up research has shown that such gains are achievable over time.
Some studies have shown that about 80% of people show marked improvement in symptoms within a period of 12 to 16 sessions for a single session of about 60 to 90 minutes. The results mainly indicate fewer avoidance behaviors and intrusive thoughts. There has been marked improvement in coping with any reminders and other associated emotions (Beck, 1976). People who have been engaged in the TF-CBT process have also shown reduced anxiety, behavior problems, disassociation, depression, shame related to trauma and sexualized behavior. There has also been improved social competence and interpersonal trust. Other matters include the improved individual safety skills. Moreover, the person has been found to be well-prepared for future reminders of trauma (Cohen et al., 2004). Research has also demonstrated positive therapy response for parents (Cohen, Berliner, & Mannarino 2000). In TF-CBT research, parents in most cases reported reduced emotional distress linked to the trauma of the child, depression and symptoms of PTSD. They also reported developed ability to show support for the child (Cohen et al., 2004).
Many research experts have noted that establishing whether an act is abusive takes into account different factors surrounding such behaviors. As regards physical offending behavior, the significance of considering the potential for harsh consequences of a behavioral act has been highlighted by researchers (National Council on Child Abuse & Family Violence, 2002). Other significant factors that need to be considered are severity, duration, prevalence and the age of the start of the offending behavior together with the impact of community and cultural values on the socialization practices of a parent. Although available data suggests that nearly all children in the US have encountered corporal punishment at some age, there is lack of agreement on which discipline must be regarded as offensive or abusive (White, White, and Larrington, 2005). Perceptions amongst even prominent child abuse experts vary on the same issue. Some experts propose that corporal punishment has detrimental effects to the child, such as antisocial behavior, and that discipline must never include things like spanking. Others express concern about the connection between detrimental effects and spanking, and propose that corporal punishment could be as effective as other discipline means. Therefore, differentiating between acts that constitute an extreme kind of physical discipline and those that are termed as abuse is indeed problematic.
2.5.2 Abuse Focused-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (AF-CBT)
AF-CBT is applicable in the case of physically abusive parents and the child. Offenders who physically abuse the child, have poor management skills of child behavior, depend entirely on punishment approaches to child discipline, and have a high degree of negative interactions with the child are very good candidates for AF-CBT. This protocol is absolutely vital for individuals who physically abuse children and display aggression and poor social skills. CBT and behavioral therapy have largely sought to change different problems instead of elementary symptoms (Deblinger et al., 2001). Research overly supports the effectiveness and efficacy of such approaches, with a wide range of offenders varying in ethnic background, age and children between the ages of preschoolers and older adolescents (Beck, 1976).
Probably the most beneficial outcome for the caregiver has been in the area of the skills and practices of parenting that include enhanced use of positive practices of management and reduction in the application of coercive and harsh discipline (Anderson, 2000). The gains have largely been found in the use of suitable parental strategies of self-control. The development in family system has been achieved, including the height of observed positive interactions of a family and self-reported degrees of family conflict and cohesion (Wekerle & Wolfe, 1998). In matters of individual-level developments, reduction has been achieved in the severity of the behavior problems of an individual and increased social behavior, as well as interactions with other people.
2.6 Family-Focused and Multi-systemic Approaches
The problem of child neglect and failure to protect the child is a multifaceted concept touching on different people in the society. The would-be offender could be anyone, including a caregiver, who could be a parent, or any other person. Interventions focused on the family are, therefore, not merely aimed at addressing the misfortunes of the child, such as disruptive behavior, but also the parent for management of anger. Other variables, such as child-parent relationship and family boundaries, are also taken into consideration. For instance, Intensive Family Preservation Program (IFPP) offers interventions that could be helpful in meeting the needs of the family, including crisis intervention and modification of behaviors to deal with different risk factors of the family (Wekerle & Wolfe, 1998). Interventions of such nature are meant to deter out-of-home placement of neglected and abused children and have not merely prevented children from neglect, but also have fostered proper functioning of families in problems of behavior and communication.
Establishment of positive interactions between the child and the parent has been of great help in addressing the issue neglect and failure to protect the child (Child Welfare System FAQ, 2011). The cognitive behavioral therapy approach aims to establish such interactions. Interactions with other people for the offender are greatly enhanced through a CBT approach. Moreover, the Parent-Child Education Program is meant for the family that uses power to discipline children. Such programs include the effective use of strategies of parenting, promoting compliance, and boosting the relationship of the child and the parent (Wekerle & Wolfe, 1998). This also proves to be useful for learning emerging coping strategies to address stress of parenting.
Physical Abuse-Informed Family Therapy is another intervention focusing on the family. It includes each member of the family and focuses on understanding of coercive behavior by solving problems and providing skills of communication. Compared to conventional community services, such kind of treatment has been highly effective in improving the outcomes related to child abuse and reducing any kind of violence. Through the multisystemic approaches’ perspective, offensive abusive behaviors are sustained through interactions between different factors in the systems, such as peer, society, school and family (White et al., 2005). Thus, these treatment interventions deal with different factors by taking into account systemic issues, which could assist families in sustaining the motivation to change these offending behaviors, while reducing the degree of stress in the offenders so that therapeutic issues can be dealt with (National Council on Child Abuse & Family Violence, 2002). Offenders could show different dysfunctions that need to be dealt with through provision of various services, as well as societal and multisystemic interventions. Thus, Multisystemic Therapy (MST) has been useful in improving child-parent interactions.