Investigating Child Abuse: Examining the Resources of Multidisciplinary Teams

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date



College of Health Sciences


School of Nursing

Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Max Veltman


The aim of this study was to gather information about educational needs and resources available to Child Abuse Multidisciplinary teams (MDTs) in the state of Idaho. Lack of coordination and communication between agencies investigating reports of child abuse may cause a delay in removing children from dangerous situations and/or continued abuse. Medical evaluations are an integral part of investigating child abuse and maximizing the child’s physical and psychological healing.

A telephone survey was designed and conducted gathering information from county prosecuting attorney’s offices in each of the 44 counties in Idaho. The survey explored educational needs, current functioning capacity and the involvement of medical professionals in MDT operations. Data were collected, organized, and analyzed with comparisons to state codes, national standards and best practices.

The analysis indicates that 8 of the 44 counties in Idaho have MDTs that are compliant with the legal statute related to child abuse investigations. Only 15 counties have input from medical professionals on cases of child maltreatment. Four counties reported no knowledge of the statute or the existence of MDTs.

This study indicates that Idaho county prosecutors need more training for members of their MDTs and most MDTs need much more collaboration with medical professionals.

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