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Educational Services for Individuals with Exceptionalities. Abuse and Neglect Homeless/At-Risk. Historical perspective. Late 1800’s - Story of Mary The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children was formed 1900 there were 161 such groups in the U.S.

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Educational Services for Individuals with Exceptionalities

Abuse and Neglect


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Historical perspective

  • Late 1800’s - Story of Mary

  • The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children was formed

  • 1900 there were 161 such groups in the U.S.

  • In the 1930s, the Social Security Act began to make funds available for the prevention and treatment of child abuse

  • 1968 - The Battered Child was published,

  • 1970’s – first laws in place regarding child abuse

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There is not a set of definitions for neglect, physical

abuse, sexual abuse, or psychological maltreatment

that is used consistently by local, state, and federal

agencies or across the multiple disciplines that deal

with this problem.

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Types of Child Abuse

  • Physical Abuse

  • Emotional Abuse

  • Neglect

  • Sexual Abuse

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Physical Abuse

  • Any injury to a child that is not accidental or any action which could have seriously harmed the child but luckily did not


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Emotional Abuse

  • Includes making a child feel that he/she is not loved or that he/she is bad or has no value


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  • Includes not providing a safe home, food, clothing, or medical/dental care, as well as leaving a young child alone or with someone who is not able to care for him/her, driving while intoxicated with an unrestrained child in the car


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Sexual Abuse

  • Includes using a child for sex acts, taking pornographic pictures of a child, or other types of sexual activity with a child


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  • Psychological Neglect - the consistent failure of a parent or caretaker to provide a child with appropriate support, attention, and affection.

  • Psychological Abuse - a chronic pattern of behaviors such as belittling, humiliating, and ridiculing a child.

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  • Lack of attachment between infant and parent

  • Lack of responsiveness to environment

  • Failure-to-thrive

  • Parent is highly critical and negative toward the infant/child

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Neglect is the chronic failure of a parent or caretaker

to provide a child under 18 with basic needs such as

food, clothing, shelter, medical care, educational

opportunity, protection, and supervision.

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  • Significantly below height/weight for age

  • Inappropriate clothing for weather

  • Lack of safe, sanitary shelter

  • Lack of necessary medical and dental care

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  • Reports no caretaker in the home

  • Untreated illness or injury

  • Poor hygiene, including lice, body odor, scaly skin

  • Child abandoned or left with inadequate supervision

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Failure to thrive (FTT) is a condition in which children show a marked retardation or cessation of growth.

FTT can result from:

  • A medical condition

  • Environmental factors or

  • Combination of medical and environmental factors

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Physical abuse is any non-accidental injury to a child

under the age of 18 by a parent or caretaker. These

injuries may include beatings, shaking, burns, human

bites, strangulation, or immersion in scalding water,

with resulting bruises and welts, broken bones, scars,

burns, retinal hemorrhage, or internal injuries.

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  • History given by parent does not match the injury

  • Child gives unbelievable explanation for the injuries

  • Child reports injury by parent

  • Child is fearful to go home or requests to stay at school, daycare, hospital

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Child sexual abuse is the exploitation of a child or

adolescent for the sexual gratification of another


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Sexually Abusive Behaviors

  • Voyeurism

  • Fondling

  • Child prostitution

  • Child pornography

  • Intercourse

  • Sodomy

  • Oral-genital stimulation

  • Verbal stimulation

  • Exhibitionism

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  • Injury to genital area or other medical indicators

  • History of somatic complaints, including pain or irritation of the genitals

  • Sexually transmitted disease

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  • Pregnancy in young adolescent

  • Frequent unexplained sore throats, yeast or urinary infections

  • Child reports inappropriate sexual behavior

  • Child engaged in highly inappropriate sexual behavior

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  • Parents with potential to abuse

    • Usually had deprived childhoods

    • Lacked consistent loving nurturing environment when young

    • Have a poor self-image

    • Spouses passive and perhaps unable to provide emotional support needed

    • Family may have isolated themselves and have little support from others and the community

    • Have poor expectations of children as they do not understand child development

  • Parents who regard a children as different

    • Includes children with disabilities

  • Stress situations that brings on a crisis

    • Usually precipitating factor prior to abusive act that sets the stage for parent to lose control

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  • Less able to physically defend themselves

  • Less able to articulate occurrence of abuse

  • Unable to differentiate between appropriate and inappropriate contact

  • More dependent on others

  • Reluctant to report instances of abuse

  • Difficult behaviors

  • Family/individual stress

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  • Parent or caregiver immaturity or inexperience: parents may not understand child’s behaviors and needs and may not know what to expect at each development stage

  • Unrealistic expectations: expectations are beyond what child is developmentally capable of

  • Social isolation: lack of family or friends to help with the demands of parenting or provide support to the caregiver

  • Unmet emotional needs: parents who do not relate well to other adults may turn to children to satisfy needs for love, acceptance, self-esteem

  • Frequent crisis: financial, marital, job, illness

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  • Poor childhood experiences: adults who were abused as children may not have learned how to relate to children in an appropriate, nonviolent way

  • Drug or alcohol problems: impair adults ability to properly care for children or expose children to danger

  • Mental illness: untreated or chronic mental illness can lead to abuse and neglect

  • Poor family boundaries: unlimited access to home by outsiders, access to medications or dangerous objects, lack of supervision may cause a failure to protect child from harm

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  • 45% of children who have been abused or neglected are identified in special education compared to 10-12% of general population

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General Effects of abuse

  • Permanent physical/mental impairment

  • Brain damage and mental retardation

  • Central nervous system damage

  • Impaired growth

  • Language impairment

  • Emotional/behavioral disorders

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Impact of Abuse, Neglect, and Alcohol Exposure on Child Development

  • Speech and Language Difficulties

    • Delays in grammar, vocabulary comprehension/production

    • Limited receptive and expressive syntactic skills; delayed semantic skills

    • Minimal conversational skills

    • Impaired social communication skills, pragmatic language, and social cognition

  • Cognitive Impacts

    • Memory and learning difficulties

    • Poor problem-solving abilities

    • Attention deficits

    • Problems with information processing

  • Sensory Integration

    • Over/under sensitive to touch, movement, sights, and sounds

    • Easily distracted

    • Unusually high or low activity level

    • Inability to calm self

    • Often associated with learning disabilities

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Impact of Abuse, Neglect, and Alcohol Exposure on Child Development (Cont.)

  • Motor

    • Fine motor difficulties

    • Gross motor difficulties

    • Visual motor difficulties

  • Physical/Medical

    • Pre/postnatal growth deficits

    • CNS involvement or brain malformations

    • Minor facial abnormalities

    • Malnutrition and failure to thrive

    • Physical harm due to abuse or lack of supervision

    • Untreated illness or injuries

    • Altered release of growth-regulating hormones, impacting development

  • Social-emotional

    • Demonstrate less affection

    • Aggressive

    • Poor self-image

    • Inappropriate sexual behavior

    • Increased likelihood for alcohol and drug abuse, destructive behavior, and suicide

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Schools & Defense Against Abuse Development (Cont.)

  • Serve as a referral agency to child protection agencies—reporting suspected abuse as required by law

  • Serve as an educational institution offering parent education, family-life education, and home visitations to adults and students

  • Serve as a support system for families and as a collaborator with other agencies in providing a total protection system

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Who Abuses Children? Development (Cont.)

  • 84% abused by parents

  • Mothers responsible for:

    • 32% of physical abuse

    • 47% of neglect

  • Fathers responsible for:

    • 22% of sexual abuse

  • Non-relatives responsible for:

    • 29% of sexual abuse

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Reporting Child Abuse Development (Cont.)

  • When should a person report?

    • When the person suspects that a child is being abused

    • When there are physical signs of potential abuse

  • Person who reports can request that his or her name be kept confidential

  • Malicious or intentional false reporting is a misdemeanor and can be prosecuted

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Who Reports Abuse Development (Cont.)

  • 70% of children abused probably come in contact with schools or child care centers

  • In 2002, more than one-half (57 percent) of all reports made to CPS agencies came from professionals who came in contact with the child.

  • Teachers (16 percent of all reports);

  • legal, law enforcement, and criminal justice personnel (16 percent);

  • social services workers (13 percent); and

  • medical personnel (8 percent) were the most frequent sources of reports.

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General Statistics Development (Cont.)

  • Estimated 826,000 children were victims of abuse and neglect in the U.S. (1999 Dept Health & Human Services report)

  • 2.6 million (out of 4.5 million children) reports of child abuse in 2002

  • 90% of adult prisoners reported being abused as a child

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General Statistics Development (Cont.)

  • Each week, child protective services (CPS) agencies throughout the United States receive more than 50,000 reports of suspected child abuse or neglect.

  • Neglect (60 percent) meaning a caretaker failed to provide for the child's basic needs.

  • physical abuse (nearly 20 percent)

  • sexual abuse (10 percent)

  • Emotional abuse (7 percent) which includes criticizing, rejecting, or refusing to nurture a child.

  • Nearly four children die every day as a result of child abuse or neglect (1,400 in 2002).

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2001 NATIONAL FINDINGS Development (Cont.)

  • 903,000 child victims (12.4/1000children)

  • Boys and girls equally at risk for maltreatment

  • Children 3 and younger are more likely to be maltreated

  • Almost 2 children per 100,000 died from abuse

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2001 NATIONAL FINDINGS Development (Cont.)

  • 59% of perpetrators = females

  • 41% of perpetrators = males

  • 81% of perpetrators = one parent acting alone

    • 41% mother acting alone

    • 18% father acting alone

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2001 NATIONAL FINDINGS Development (Cont.)

  • Based on the number of children under age 18, the percentage of abused children compared to the racial/ethnic distribution of the U.S. population:

  • % Abused% of Population*

  • Caucasian: 50% 69%

  • African American: 25% 12%

  • Hispanic: 15% 13%

  • Native American: 2% 1%

  • Asian/Pacific Islander: 1% 4%

  • Multiple Races/Unknown 7% 9%

  • * Total does not equal 100% as some people claim membership in multiple racial/ethnic groups.

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2001 NATIONAL FINDINGS Development (Cont.)

  • % of Referrals

  • Professionals 57%

  • - Educational Personnel

  • - Legal/Law Enforcement

  • - Social Services/Mental Health

  • - Medical Personnel

  • Non-Professionals 43%

  • - Family Members

  • - Neighbors

  • - Other Community Members

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Etiological/Associated Physical Sexual Psychological

Factors Neglect Abuse Abuse Maltreatment

Domestic Violence X XX X

One Parent Household XX XX XX

Poverty XX X x

Stress X XX x x

Lacking Education XX XX X

Substance Abuse XX X x

Family Patterns X XX X X

Mental Disorders x x XX*?

- Parental DepressionXXX ?

Social Factors X X X X

Social Isolation XX X X ?

Unknown X X XXXX

* Includes paraphilias

(Bonner, 2003)

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National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect Development (Cont.)

  • NCCAN was created in 1974 by public law

  • NCCAN disseminates information via the Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect


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  • Child Protective Services

  • Law enforcement

  • Physicians, Nurses

  • Prosecutors, Defense Attorneys, Judges

  • Mental health professionals

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  • Child advocates, CASA volunteers

  • Foster parents

  • Domestic violence staff

  • Educators

  • Community members, clergy

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  • Child Protection Teams

  • Children’s Advocacy Centers

  • Local and State Child Death Review Teams

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WHEN TO REPORT Development (Cont.)

  • A report should be made when there is reasonable cause to believe that a child or adolescent has been abused or neglected or is in danger of being abused.

  • A report of suspected abuse is only a request for an investigation.

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Reasonable Actions Development (Cont.)

  • [T]he physical discipline of a child is not unlawful when it is reasonable and moderate and is inflicted by a parent, teacher, or guardian for purposes of restraining or correcting the child.

  • Any use of force on a child by any other person is unlawful unless it is reasonable and moderate and is authorized in advance by the child's parent or guardian for purposes of restraining or correcting the child.

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Un-Reasonable Actions Development (Cont.)

  • Throwing, kicking, burning, or cutting a child

  • Striking a child with a closed fist

  • Shaking a child under age three

  • Interfering with a child's breathing

  • Threatening a child with a deadly weapon

  • Doing any other act that is likely to cause and which does cause bodily harm greater than transient pain or minor temporary marks.

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Other Considerations Development (Cont.)

  • The age, size, and condition of the child and the location of the injury shall be considered when determining whether the bodily harm is reasonable or moderate.

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Mandated Reporters Development (Cont.)

  • Physicians, Dentist, Psychologists

  • Hospital or Medical Personnel

  • School teachers, administrators, counselors

  • Law Enforcement Personnel

  • Failure to report is a misdemeanor

  • Remember -A report of suspected child abuse is a responsible attempt to protect a child.

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Telephone Numbers Development (Cont.)

  • CPS (Child Protective Services) Hotline 1-866-ENDHARM

  • Police for emergencies 911

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After the Report Development (Cont.)

  • Investigation by CPS

    • CPS worker can interview child and parent

      • CPS worker does not need permission of parent

      • After interview, CPS worker will notify parent

  • Police involvement

    • Criminal investigation

    • Protective custody

      • After 72 hours, must transfer child to CPS who will take child either to relatives or licensed foster home

  • Court Hearing

    • Must be held within 72 hours of time child was placed in custody