2LEGISLATIVE MANDATES Child Abuse and Neglect Teachers and administratorsmust receive annualprofessional developmenton child abuse and neglect.(S.B. 1493)
3Definition: What is Child Abuse? Harm or threatened harmto a child’s health or safety by a person responsible for the child’s health andsafety.Includes non-accidental physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse or exploitation, or emotional abuse.A child is any person under the age of 18.
4Definitions: Child Abuse & Neglect A person responsible for a child is defined as one who is responsible for the child’s health or safety, such as:Parents or legal guardiansFoster parentsA person 18 years of age or older with whom the child is cohabitingAny other adult residing in the home
5Definition: Physical Abuse Non-accidental physical injury to a child under the age of 18Physical abuse can be more obvious than sexual abuse or neglect but the abuse is often hidden under clothing.Can be one time event or a pattern of behavior.Can be an injury that doesn’t fit the explanation.Delays in seeking medical attention should serve as red flags.
6Indicators: Physical Abuse Consider the possibility of physicalabuse when the child exhibits:unexplained bruises, especially in various stages of healingwelts, lacerations, or abrasionsburns, especially cigarette burnspatterned marks, such as belt or loop marksinjuries on two or more planes of the child’s body such as the buttocks and armscuts or puncturesbald spotshead injurieswears clothing inappropriate for theweather to cover the bodylimited verbal abilitylimited self esteemcognitive or intellectual deficits
7Definition: Child Neglect Failure or omission to providefood, clothing, shelter, medicalcare, supervision or special caremade necessary by the physicalor mental condition of a child.
8Indicators: Child Neglect Consider the possibility of neglectwhen the child exhibits:listlessness or apathyconsistent hungerdevelopmental delaysconsistent lack of supervisionespecially in dangerous activitiesor for long periods of timedepressionfrequent absences from schoollanguage delays or disorderslow self esteempoor social skillsa high incidence of juvenile delinquencypassivity tending toward helplessnessinappropriate dress for the weather
9Types: Child Neglect Failure to Protect Inadequate Shelter Lack of SupervisionSubstance Abuse by ParentLack of Physical CareNeed of Medical CareInadequate NutritionEducational NeglectAbandonmentNeed Psychological Attention
10Types: Sexual Abuse or Exploitation Includes but not limited to:RapeIncestLewd or indecent acts/proposalsAllowing, permitting, or encouraging a childto engage in prostitution or pornography.
11Indicators: Sexual Abuse Consider the possibility of sexual abusewhen the child has:torn, stained or bloody underclothingsexually transmitted diseasesinflammation, bruises, bite marks, painor itching in the genital areafrequent urinary infections
12Definition: Emotional Abuse Difficult to define.Has not received as much focus as other forms of abuse.Can occur alone but is most often found in conjunction with other forms of abuse.Impact on the child’s development.
13Indicators: Emotional Abuse Consider the possibility of emotional abuse when the child exhibits:eating disordersinappropriate wetting or soilingspeech disorder or stutteringattachment problemsreduced emotional responsivenesshabit disorders, such as head banging
14Indicators: Emotional Abuse poor peer relationshipsbehavioral extremespoor self esteemrepeats negative commentschronic academic underachievementself destructive behavior, obliviousto the hazards or risks
15Reporting: WHO? Who is Required to Report Suspected Child Abuse? Every health care professional, teacher, and every OTHER person having a reason to believe that a child under 18 is being abused or neglected or is in danger of being abused or neglected is required to report.
16Reporting Reporting is an individual responsibility. If you report in good faith, by law you areimmune from prosecution.Failure to report is a misdemeanor punishable by six months in jail, a $500 fine, or both.No person is exempt from reporting.
17Making a Report PROMPTLY call DHS in the county where the abuse occurred or thestatewide 24 hour hotline.HotlineRecord the name of the employee whotook the report.Each report is assigned a number;record this number for follow-up.
18Reporting: Related to Schools Reporting is an individual responsibility.DHS, not the school, is responsible for notifyingthe parents that a child was interviewedregarding a child abuse investigation.DO NOT delve into a child’s situation beyonddetermining whether there is reason to believethe child is being abused or neglected, or childis in danger of being abused or neglected.
19ConfidentialityDo professional codes of conduct regarding confidentiality prohibit professionals from reportingchild abuse and neglect?Oklahoma Law is very clear.The duty to report supercedesprofessionals’ confidentiality codeswhen there is reason to believe thata child is abused or neglected.
20HOTLINES: Child Abuse and Neglect State Hotline Number
21Resources: Child Abuse Prevention Service Family Health Services Oklahoma State Department of HealthAdapted from a PowerPoint by Sue V. Settles, MSW, LSW, CATC Program Coordinator, OKDHS & Norman Public Schools