‘How Is Fido?’: What the Family’s Companion Animal Can Tell You about Risk Assessment and Effective Interventions — If Only You Would Ask!
Early in my social work career, I was a child protective services worker in the San Francisco Bay Area. Caseloads were high and cooperation low. I worried about the decisions I had to make. If I underestimated risk, a child could be harmed, even killed; if I overestimated risk, a child could be needlessly traumatised by an unnecessary removal from the home. Yet, realistically, how much could I, or anybody, see in the single home visit on which such life-altering decisions are based? How could I build a collaborative relationship while gathering potentially incriminating evidence?
KeywordsDomestic Violence Child Abuse Companion Animal Animal Abuse Animal Cruelty
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