Presentation on theme: "What is child abuse? Child abuse is harm or threatened harm to a child’s health or safety by a person responsible for the child’s health and safety. (A."— Presentation transcript:
1 What is child abuse?Child abuse is harm or threatened harm to a child’s health or safety by a person responsible for the child’s health and safety. (A child is any person under the age of 18.)Harm or threatened harm includes non-accidental physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse or exploitation, or emotional abuse.
2 Abuse or Accident? Location of the injury Number and frequency of injuriesSize and shape of the injuryDescription of how the injury occurredInjury consistent with child’s developmental abilityAccidents do happen
3 Abuse or Discipline?Discipline is a learning process designed to teach appropriate behaviorsAbuse is designed to stop behavior through inflicting pain. It does not teach correct behavior.Intent of the reporting law is to respond to extreme or inappropriate parental actions. Actions that are excessive or forceful enough to leave injuries are considered abusive.
4 Physical AbuseAny non-accidental injury to a child under the age of 18 by a parent or caretaker.Non-accidental injuries may include the following:BeatingsShakingBurnsHuman bitesStrangulationImmersion in scalding water
5 Physical abuse, cont.Results in bruises, welts, broken bones, scars, burns or internal injuriesCan be a one time event or a pattern of behaviorCan be more obvious than sexual abuse or neglect, but abuse often hidden under clothingLook for injury that doesn’t fit the explanation
6 Physical Indicators of Physical Abuse Unexplained bruises and weltsVarious stages of healingCan reflect shape of object usedOften on face, torso, buttocks, back or thighsUnexplained burnsOften on palms, soles, buttocks and backDistinct shapeUnexplained fractures/dislocationsOther unexplained injuries, human bite marks or pinch marksLoss of hair/bald patchesInjuries on 2 or more planes of the child’s body
7 Behavioral Indicators of Physical Abuse Low self-esteemLimited verbal abilityTends to avoid physical contact with adults, especially parentsCries excessively and/or sits and stareAfraid to go homeDisplays behavioral extremesAsks to be punished or suggests other children be punished in a harsh mannerReports injury by parents
8 Emotional Abuse Core component of all forms of abuse. May occur on its own, or in conjunction with other forms of abuse.Psychological neglect is the consistent failure to provide a child with appropriate support, attention and affection.Psychological abuse is a chronic pattern of behaviors such as belittling, humiliating and ridiculing a child
9 Emotional Abuse Examples of abuse: Parent or caretaker chronically: Takes little or no interestCriticizes, belittles and shamesBlamesUses child as scapegoatTreats child differentlyRestrict activitiesUses extreme forms of punishmentPhysical IndicatorsEating disordersSleep disturbancesInappropriate wetting or soilingSpeech disorders or stutteringFailure to thriveDevelopmental lagsAsthma, sever allergies or ulcers
10 Behavioral Indicators of Emotional Abuse Habit disorders such as biting, rocking, head banging, or thumb sucking in an older childPoor peer relationshipsBehavioral extremesSad appearanceApathyLack of responsivenessChronic academic underachievementSelf-destructive behavior, oblivious to the hazards or risksIrrational and persistent fears, dreads or hatredsPoor self-esteemRepeats negative commentsA child who persistently shows several of the characteristics may be experiencing psychological maltreatment.
11 NeglectFailure or omission to provide a child under 18 with basic needs – food, clothing, shelter, medical care, educational opportunity, protection and supervisionFailure to provide special care made necessary by the physical or mental condition of a child.
12 Child Neglect Physical Indicators Height/weight significantly below age levelInappropriate clothing for weatherPoor hygieneConsistent lack of supervisionUntreated illness or injuryLack of safe, warm, sanitary shelterLack of necessary medical and dental care
13 Child Neglect Behavioral Indicators Begs or steals foodChronic hungerFalls asleep in schoolExcessive absences and/or tardiesDull, apathetic appearanceRuns away from homeRepeated acts of vandalismReports no caretaker in the homeAssumes adult responsibilitiesPoor social skillsLanguage delays or disordersDepression
14 Types of Child Neglect Failure to protect Inadequate shelter Lack of supervisionSubstance abuse by parentLack of physical careNeed of medical careInadequate nutritionEducational neglectAbandonmentNeed psych attention
15 Child Sexual AbuseExploitation of a child or adolescent for the sexual gratification of another personIncludes, but is not limited to:RapeIncestLewd or indecent acts/ proposalsAllowing, permitting, or encouraging a child to engage in prostitution or pornography
16 Behavioral Indicators of Sexual Abuse Sexual knowledge or behavior beyond child’s developmental levelSudden avoidance of certain familiar adults or placesDecline in school performanceDepression, suicidal gesturesExcessive masturbation in young childrenAvoidance of undressing or wearing extra layers of clothes
17 Physical Indicators of Sexual Abuse Torn, stained or bloody underclothingDifficulty walking or sittingSexually transmitted diseasesFrequent, unexplained sore throats, yeast or urinary infectionsInflammation, bruising, bite marks, pain or itching in the genital area
18 If a Child Discloses Listen Provide a private time and place to talk Do not promise not to tellDo not express shock or criticize their familyReassure the child that he/she has done the right thing by tellingUse the child’s vocabulary to discuss body partsTell the child the abuse is not his/her faultDetermine immediate need for safety
19 How to Report Suspected Child Abuse or Neglect Call local DHS or hotline – confidentialImminent danger – call law enforcementRecord name of OKDHS employee who took the report.You may ask for the report number for follow-upDHS24 Hour Hotline
20 Information You Will Need Name, age and gender of the childSocial security number of the childParent’s nameAddress, phone number and directions to the child’s homeParent’s place of employmentWhereabouts of the child and parentsDescription of the suspected abuseCurrent condition of the child
21 School Related Reporting Issues Reporting is an individual responsibility.Oklahoma Law is very clear that professionals who maintain strict ethical guidelines related to confidentiality are required to report child abuse and neglect.It is the responsibility of DHS, not the school, to notify parents that a child was interviewed at the school.Teachers, counselors, staff, etc should NOT try to investigate a child’s situation beyond determining whether there is reason to believe the child is being abused or neglected, or is in danger of being abused or neglectedInform your principal that you are making a referral.
22 Bottom Line Everyone has a duty and obligation to report. If something does not seem right, report.Document, document, documentAsk the right questionsMany children are too young, too afraid or too traumatized to tell about their abuses. You may be the only one to whom they can reach out.Your students are depending on you.