Child Abuse and Neglect: A Framework for Supporting Patients and Families

Remember that all relationships usually start with a positive intent. Getting to know someone, being hired to work, choosing a doctor, or becoming a parent. Central to any of these are people connecting with some shared purpose and expectations. When violence, maltreatment, or neglect somehow enters that space, those hopes and expectations suffer. These are the cases that challenge and even shock providers. I am always reminded of what Dr. C. Henry Kempe said decades ago, “Abusive parents love their children very much but not very well.” That positive intent is there – it’s just been disrupted, hidden, or nearly lost. So what do we do?


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