What are the benefits of a joint effort between police and social services when investigating child physical or sexual abuse
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The social worker has the child or family members best interest in mind when investigating a suspected incident or complaint. Many times it is imperative that agencies work together to ensure safety for the social worker or if a need arises to remove a child from a home. Often times a criminal investigation will arise from a complaint or statement made to the social worker. The social worker cannot undertake a criminal investigation as to rape or physical assault. However, often times these investigations are pursuant to a social worker's report on an incident.
A social worker has authority to "protect" a child if they believe that harm has or will come to that child even though they may not have enough evidence that would elicit a full criminal investigation. Often neglect cases are not criminal in nature but would be essentially labeled "bad parenting". These cases would be malnutrition, failure to monitor, and possibly endangerment in some states.
Are there benefits to keeping the two investigations separate?
Research a case where the police obtained a false confession, and the conviction was eventually overturned, based on other evidence, such as DNA. Summarize the case and identify the key investigative errors that may have allowed the suspect to be convicted upon this false confession.
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