First Advisor

Clemens, Elysia

Third Advisor

Helm, Heather

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Child maltreatment is a widespread epidemic that has relevance to the work of counselors. The counseling profession has not yet established a set of standards that provide comprehensive guidance on how to prepare counselors to work with clients impacted by child maltreatment. The purpose of this dissertation study was to discover the domains and competencies necessary to prepare master’s-level counselors to assess and manage the risk of child maltreatment with clients. Twenty counseling and five non-counseling experts participated in this multi-round Delphi study. These expert expert- participants provided their opinions through a series of three structured surveys. Expert- participants created and reached consensus on a list of 45 competencies across four domains that detailed the necessary knowledge and skills required of counselors to assess the risk and manage the impact of child maltreatment in their clients. Counseling training programs can begin to incorporate these competencies into their programs as a way to address the current lack of training on child maltreatment.


Abuse, Counseling, Counselor Education, Delphi, Ethics, Maltreatment


313 pages

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