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Dr Karen S Rotabi

Dr Karen S Rotabi-Casares is A Professor of Social Work at California State University-Monterey Bay. Her area of expertise is child protection, with an emphasis on alternative care of children, particularly child adoption. Her publications focus on policy and family support, with an orientation to international models of care. Her most recent co-authored book is "From Intercountry Adoption to Global Surrogacy: A Human Rights History and New Fertility Frontiers". She previously taught at the United Arab Emirates University. She has provided pro-bono expert testimony on asylum-seeking and violence against women, as well as other human rights abuses, with an emphasis on Guatemala. She has an extensive background in accrediting human service organizations for the Council on Accreditation. In 2016, she was appointed to an expert group on child rights and surrogacy for International Social Services.

Sources of Resilience in Abused Children During the Legal Child Protection Process in both Jordan and United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Child abuse is one of the worst forms of violence against children especially when it comes from within the family. The difficult part of the abuse is the process of investigating the abuse, going through the harsh stages of forensic medical examination, court proceedings and may be taken out of the family home to safe shelters. However, despite this significant adversity and stress they experience, some children demonstrate resilience, show high functioning and successful adjustment despite their tough experience. This paper examines factors that contribute to abused children adaptive functioning during the legal child protection process. It will mainly focus on resilience in abused children during the legal proceedings at the police investigation settings where forensic medical examinations and social work interventions are also provided. This paper explores the factors that promote resilience in abused children. It also stresses the role of service providers in developing resilience in abused children during the whole process of investigating the abuse. Child development, support from other members in the family, school achievements, loyalty to family, religious belief and good interval will be examined as factors that might contribute to displaying resilient in abused children.

The Family Protection Department in Jordan, and Social Support Centers in the police departments of each emirate of the UAE, will be studied as two cases of legal child protection bodies that investigate child abuse from within the family. The two legal bodies will also be presented as two potential settings to promote resilience in abused children all through the legal investigation process of child abuse. Quality of services provided and casework providers will be examined as pillars of child resilience in the process of child abuse investigation.

Keywords: child abuse, resilience, child Protection, UAE, Jordan, Family Protection Department, Social Development Centers.


Cicchetti D. (2013). Annual Research Review: Resilient functioning in maltreated children--past, present, and future perspectives. Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, and allied disciplines, 54(4), 402–422.

Dubowitz, H., Thompson, R., Proctor, L., Metzger, R., Black, M. M., English, D., Poole, G., & Magder, L. (2016). Adversity, Maltreatment, and Resilience in Young Children. Academic pediatrics, 16(3), 233–239.

Holmes, M. R., Yoon, S., Berg, K. A., Cage, J. L., & Perzynski, A. T. (2018). Promoting the development of resilient academic functioning in maltreated children. Child abuse & neglect, 75, 92–103.

Dr Karen S Rotabi
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