AniCare Child is an assessment and treatment approach designed for mental health professions working with children under the age of 17 who have perpetrated or witnessed animal abuse. It is also useful to professionals from a range of other disciplines who work with youth, including social workers, attorneys, probation officers, judges, school counselors, teachers, child care providers, and community members. AniCare Child is the first published treatment approach to focus exclusively on juvenile cruelty to animals. The newly revised 124-page practitioner’s handbook provides comprehensive strategies and practical suggestions for assessing and treating children who have abused animals or witnessed animal cruelty. AniCare Child can be used as the primary treatment focus or as an ancillary treatment. (AniCare was developed based on several theoretical perspectives, including cognitive-behavioral, attachment and psychodynamic theories. The three therapeutic tasks of treatment – connection, expression, and corrective intervention – organize the approach. Clinical case examples, a variety of exercises, and other tools, such as use of projective material and puppet role play, are presented. AniCare Child also addresses assessing and treating children who witness animal abuse and includes a section on “Working with Parents.”
The ASI recognizes the Doris Day Animal Foundation for its generous support of this program.