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:
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.
Abuse or Accident? Location of the injury Number and frequency of injuries Size and shape of the injury Description of how the injury occurred Injury consistent with child’s developmental ability Accidents do happen
Abuse or Discipline? Discipline is a learning process designed to teach appropriate behaviors Abuse 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.
Physical Abuse Any non-accidental injury to a child under the age of 18 by a parent or caretaker. Non-accidental injuries may include the following: – Beatings – Shaking – Burns – Human bites – Strangulation – Immersion in scalding water
Physical abuse, cont. Results in bruises, welts, broken bones, scars, burns or internal injuries Can be a one time event or a pattern of behavior Can be more obvious than sexual abuse or neglect, but abuse often hidden under clothing Look for injury that doesn’t fit the explanation
Physical Indicators of Physical Abuse Unexplained bruises and welts – Various stages of healing – Can reflect shape of object used – Often on face, torso, buttocks, back or thighs Unexplained burns – Often on palms, soles, buttocks and back – Distinct shape Unexplained fractures/dislocations Other unexplained injuries, human bite marks or pinch marks Loss of hair/bald patches Injuries on 2 or more planes of the child’s body
Behavioral Indicators of Physical Abuse Low self-esteem Limited verbal ability Tends to avoid physical contact with adults, especially parents Cries excessively and/or sits and stare Afraid to go home Displays behavioral extremes Asks to be punished or suggests other children be punished in a harsh manner Reports injury by parents
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
Emotional Abuse Physical Indicators ◦ Eating disorders ◦ Sleep disturbances ◦ Inappropriate wetting or soiling ◦ Speech disorders or stuttering ◦ Failure to thrive ◦ Developmental lags ◦ Asthma, sever allergies or ulcers Examples of abuse: Parent or caretaker chronically: ◦ Takes little or no interest ◦ Criticizes, belittles and shames ◦ Blames ◦ Uses child as scapegoat ◦ Treats child differently ◦ Restrict activities ◦ Uses extreme forms of punishment
Behavioral Indicators of Emotional Abuse Habit disorders such as biting, rocking, head banging, or thumb sucking in an older child Poor peer relationships Behavioral extremes Sad appearance Apathy Lack of responsiveness Chronic academic underachievement Self-destructive behavior, oblivious to the hazards or risks Irrational and persistent fears, dreads or hatreds Poor self-esteem Repeats negative comments
Neglect Failure or omission to provide a child under 18 with basic needs – food, clothing, shelter, medical care, educational opportunity, protection and supervision Failure to provide special care made necessary by the physical or mental condition of a child.
Child Neglect Physical Indicators Height/weight significantly below age level Inappropriate clothing for weather Poor hygiene Consistent lack of supervision Untreated illness or injury Lack of safe, warm, sanitary shelter Lack of necessary medical and dental care
Child Neglect Behavioral Indicators Begs or steals food Chronic hunger Falls asleep in school Excessive absences and/or tardies Dull, apathetic appearance Runs away from home Repeated acts of vandalism Reports no caretaker in the home Assumes adult responsibilities Poor social skills Language delays or disorders Depression
Types of Child Neglect Failure to protect Inadequate shelter Lack of supervision Substance abuse by parent Lack of physical care Need of medical care Inadequate nutrition Educational neglect Abandonment Need psych attention
Child Sexual Abuse Exploitation of a child or adolescent for the sexual gratification of another person Includes, but is not limited to: – Rape – Incest – Lewd or indecent acts/ proposals – Allowing, permitting, or encouraging a child to engage in prostitution or pornography
Behavioral Indicators of Sexual Abuse Sexual knowledge or behavior beyond child’s developmental level Sudden avoidance of certain familiar adults or places Decline in school performance Depression, suicidal gestures Excessive masturbation in young children Avoidance of undressing or wearing extra layers of clothes
Physical Indicators of Sexual Abuse Torn, stained or bloody underclothing Difficulty walking or sitting Sexually transmitted diseases Frequent, unexplained sore throats, yeast or urinary infections Inflammation, bruising, bite marks, pain or itching in the genital area
If a Child Discloses Listen Provide a private time and place to talk Do not promise not to tell Do not express shock or criticize their family Reassure the child that he/she has done the right thing by telling Use the child’s vocabulary to discuss body parts Tell the child the abuse is not his/her fault Determine immediate need for safety
How to Report Suspected Child Abuse or Neglect Call local DHS or hotline – confidential Imminent danger – call law enforcement Record name of OKDHS employee who took the report. You may ask for the report number for follow-up DHS Hour Hotline
Information You Will Need Name, age and gender of the child Social security number of the child Parent’s name Address, phone number and directions to the child’s home Parent’s place of employment Whereabouts of the child and parents Description of the suspected abuse Current condition of the child
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 neglected Inform your principal that you are making a referral.
Bottom Line Everyone has a duty and obligation to report. If something does not seem right, report. Document, document, document Ask the right questions Many 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.