A social services-public health partnership in child protection: a rural model.
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A social services-public health partnership in child protection: a rural model.

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      Public Health Rep
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      It is widely recognized that the amelioration of individual and family problems which contribute to child abuse and neglect requires a multidisciplinary effort. Unfortunately, however, these efforts are often sporadic or disjointed. This article is a description of a county social service-public health partnership in rural Minnesota which can serve as a model for other agencies interested in developing more interactive relationships with one another to the benefit of dysfunctional families and vulnerable children. A respect for one another's professional knowledge base and skills, a shared philosophy of intervention, and supportive agency administrators are the key components that make this model successful. Social workers and public health nurses working together--and in cooperation with still other professionals in the community--can identify and help to resolve those unmet social, psychological, and health needs which often are found in dysfunctional families. Public health nurses have many talents and a very diverse knowledge base that can be tapped by legally designated social workers who are charged by State statutes with intervening in cases involving physical or sexual abuse or neglect of children. The Brown County, MN, model is an example of a collaborative strategy that can be replicated nationwide.
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