The role of mental health service providers in protection from child and adolescent abuse and neglect - a Serbian example

Milica Pejović Milovančević, Jelena Radosavljev Kirčanski, Oliver Vidojević, Dušanka Kalanj, Teodora Minčić, Snežana Stojanović, Marko Vidosavljević


Health care professionals are in a position to recognize abused children in pediatric settings. They recognize the importance of improving the physician’s ability to recognize different forms of child abuse and other forms of family violence. The aim of the paper is to present the model of health care activities in protection from and prevention of child abuse and neglect. The Republic of Serbia has made significant efforts in the protection of children from abuse and neglect since the year 2000. A General Protocol for protection of children from abuse and neglect has been adopted, as well as a series of special protocols, including the Special Protocol within the healthcare system, which was implemented in 2009. The Special Protocol defines the obligation of all healthcare institutions to form a team of experts tasked to recognize, register and intervene in cases of abuse and neglect. The first such team was formed even before the legal obligation in the Institute of Mental Health in 2000.

Conclusion - Abuse and neglect leaves numerous short and long term consequences detrimental to child development. It is the professional, legal and moral duty of health professionals to react to child abuse and neglect. The role of the health care system in the protection of children is to make sure that every health professional, government agency, or service user (child or parent) take their share of the responsibility, in order to create an environment where each child is protected from abuse or neglect.


Child abuse and neglect; Child protection; Healthcare system

Full Text:




  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

The full text of articles published in this journal can be used free of charge for personal and educational purposes while respecting authors and publishers' copyrights. For commercial purposes no part of this journal may be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher.