Many child welfare professionals wrestle with the question of defining “What is child abuse or cultural practice?” For example, as a child protective services worker, do you suspect child abuse occurred when circular bruises were found on a child’s back or was it the ancient cultural practice of ‘Cupping’ because the child was ill? In the case of bald patches found in a child’s scalp, do you suspect child abuse or could it be the result of pediatric traction alopecia from a hairstyle worn tightly? There are multiple forms of cultural practices that require ongoing education and training in cultural competency.
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Aneeta Pearson, MSW, MS
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