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Child Abuse
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  1. Child Abuse EDPS 265 The Inclusive Classroom

  2. Agenda • What is child abuse/neglect? • What is a child in need? • What are my responsibilities? • How would I recognize a child with child protection concerns? • What should I do if I suspect child abuse? • Where can I get further help and advice?

  3. What is Child Abuse? • Child Abuse & neglect is a generic term encompassing all ill treatment of children including serious physical & sexual assaults as well as cases where the standard of care does not adequately support the child’s health or development. • Children may be abused or neglected through the infliction of harm or through the failure to prevent harm • Abuse can occur in a family or an institutional or community setting. The abuser may or may not be known to the child. • A child is anyone under 18 years old – for the purposes of child protection we include the unborn child as well.

  4. Categories • physical abuse e.g. hitting, shaking, poisoning, burning, suffocating, fabricated/induced illness etc • sexual abuse eg forcing/enticing a child to take part in sexual activities (including non contact activities) • neglect eg failure to provide adequate food, shelter, clothing, protection from harm, access to medical care etc • emotional abuse e.g.conveying to children they are worthless, unloved or inadequate, exploiting/corrupting children, causing children to feel frightened or in danger eg witnessing domestic violence

  5. What is a Child in Need? • A child who is unlikely to achieve or maintain, or to have the opportunity of achieving or maintaining, a reasonable standard of health or development without provision for him/her of services by the local authority OR his/her health or development is likely to be significantly impaired, or further impaired, without such provision OR he/she is disabled

  6. What are my responsibilities? • As a teacher you have a responsibility for protecting children from harm and promoting their welfare. • Whenever you have a concern about a child’s safety (physical, emotional or sexual), except when immediate action is required, it is always best to discuss this with your principal, a colleague, social worker and/or Support Team before acting on your concerns.

  7. How do I recognize possible signs of child abuse/neglect? Signs of Physical Abuse and Neglect The signs symptoms and history below are not diagnostic of abuse. However, in certain situations, contexts and combinations they will raise suspicion of abuse. It is better to refer on suspicion. If you wait for proof, serious harm may occur Be suspicious if: • History changes • Delay in seeking help • History and Injury not compatible • Suspicious pattern of injury • Multiple injuries of different ages/sites

  8. Possible signs of child abuse - History • Disclosure of abuse by child • Exposure to family violence, pornography, alcohol or drug abuse • Severe social stress • Isolation and lack of support • Parent/s abused as child/ren • Mental illness including postnatal depression • Unrealistic expectations of child • Inappropriate or inconsistent discipline· • Terrorizing, humiliating or oppressing • Neglecting the child • Promoting excessive dependency on the child • Actively avoiding seeking care or shopping around for care

  9. Possible signs of child abuse – Physical Signs • Multiple injuries: bruises, welts cuts, abrasions • Scalds and burns • Genital injuries • Sexually transmitted diseases • Unexplained failure to thrive • Poor hygiene • Dehydration or malnutrition • Fracture • Poisoning, especially if recurrent

  10. Possible signs of child abuse – Behavioral & Developmental Signs • Aggression • Anxiety and Depression • Obsessions • Overly responsible behavior • Fear • Sadness • Defiance • Self-mutilation • Overall development delay: motor, emotional, speech and language, social, cognitive, vision and hearing • Suicidal thoughts/plans • Withdrawal from family

  11. What Should I Do? • It should be normal practice that you discuss your concerns about a child’s safety with their parents/caregivers, and that referrals to agencies such as ‘children and families social services’ should be done in their knowledge. • If you believe that a child is at risk of harm, you must make a referral to Child Protective Services whether or not you have the parent/caregivers consent.

  12. Information Needed • Exact name, address and telephone number of the parent, guardian or custodian • Current location and condition of the child, including suspected injury • Exact description of what you saw or the child told you • If you have kept a log of concerning behaviors or suspected abuse that will be helpful • Specific details and information makes it easier for the person taking the report to assess the situation quickly. • Other pertinent information the reporter may find helpful in assessing the allegations

  13. Contacts • Child Abuse Hotline 800-852-4941 • CPS hotline 800-800-5556

  14. Help and Advice • • •

  15. No one can do everything,but everyone can do something. • Stop Child Abuse Today