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Presentation Slides & Transcript
Recognizing & Reporting Child Abuse & Neglect
OutlineWhat is child abuse?How can I recognize child abuse?How do I report it?What happens to the child?
The number of reports that children are being abused and neglected is decreasing in Seminole County.FICTION
Child Abuse in Seminole CountyAbuse reports made to the abuse hotline for Seminole County in 2009: 3,944Abuse reports made to the abuse hotline for Seminole County in 2010: 4,172Community awareness is leading to more abused children being reported in recent years, it remains extremely likely that the real numbers of children being abused is increasing.
WHAT ARE THE NUMBERS?Child abuse is the leading cause of death in children under the age of 4.80% of fatal head injuries in children under the age of 2 are non-accidental3 million reports of possible abuse are made to CPS each year (5 million children)More than 100,000 children are maltreated each year in Florida1 in 4 girls and 1 in 7 boys will be sexually abused before the age of 18
CHILD MALTREATMENTPhysical AbuseSexual AbuseEmotional AbuseNeglect
Children are more likely to be abused by people they know than by strangers. Fact Fiction
FACTResearch shows that 90% of abuse to children is perpetrated by someone they knowThis includes immediate family, extended family, close and casual friends, and neighbors
RISK FACTORSSocioeconomic statusGender/ageDepression or other mental health illnessDrug/alcohol usage in the homeDomestic ViolenceParental history of abuseInfrequently victimized by strangers
At Risk ChildrenIn other families, the children may have personal needs or characteristics that increase their risk of maltreatment, which include the following:Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).Chronic illness.A history of delinquent or ungovernable behavior.A personal attribute identified by a parent as very undesirable.
At Risk ChildrenChildren with cognitive, communication, physical and/or emotional disabilities are at highest risk for abuse--especially if the child's ability to communicate is hindered (by, for example, an inability to speak or understand oral communication, or a speech impediment).
Major Self-protective AbilitiesThe ability to comprehend danger to self;The ability to escape from the perpetrator (flight from danger);The ability to fend off the perpetrator when physically assaulted;The ability to communicate to law enforcement/investigators the nature of the crime.
Unique Issues Related to Victims with DisabilitiesUnderreporting of crimes;Lack of responsiveness from law enforcement or prosecutors who question the credibility of the victim;Increased possibility of repeated victimization;Physical or social isolation of the victim;A judicial system that is centered on the right and needs of the offender not the victim.
RISK FACTORS FOR NEGLECTChild: disability, prematurity, one too manyParent: ignorance, depression, ETOH, drugs, low IQ, non-nurturing childhoodFamily: domestic violence, too manySociety: poverty, uninsured, isolation, lack of community support
NEGLECTAct of omission, including failure to provide adequate clothing, nutrition, shelter, or supervisionAbandonmentFailure to ensure that child receives adequate health care, dental care or education
Consider neglect if…Child is significantly below height & weight for ageInappropriate clothing for climateLack of safe/sanitary shelterLack of medical/dental careUntreated illness/injuryPoor hygiene
The majority of child abuse deaths occur as a result of physical abuse. Fact Fiction
FICTIONThe majority of child abuse deaths occur as a direct result of NEGLECT!Physical abuse is the most visible form of abuse; easier to recognize & report.Neglect often has no obvious signs.Neglect covers a broad spectrum.
PHYSICAL ABUSEActs of commission towards child by parent/caregiverResults in harm OR at least the intention to harmExcessive corporal punishment
Consider physical abuse if…History given by parent does not match the injuryChild gives unbelievable explanationChild reports injury by parentChild fearful to go home
SEXUAL ABUSEInvolvement of adults, older children or adolescents in sexual activities with children who cannot give the appropriate consent and who do not understand the significance of what is happening to them
Consider sexual abuse if…Injury to the genital areaSexually transmitted diseasePregnancy in an adolescentChild reports inappropriate sexual behaviorChild engaged in highly inappropriate sexual behavior
Children disclose about sexual abuse immediately after it occurs. Fact Fiction
FICTIONResearch shows that the average time it takes a child to disclose about their abuse is 6 months.
WHY?Children may be aware of very serious consequences if they disclose:Love for the offender and fear that the offender will be very upset Parents may become in conflict with each other or the friend/relative the allegation is aboutFear of being removed from their family or having that member of the family removedThreats and/or pressure from adults to retractShocked and angry reactions of adultsConfusion because the sexual act felt good
Children who disclose about their abuse and later recant their story were lying about the abuse. Fact Fiction
FICTIONIt is not uncommon for a child to recant following an initial detailed account of abuse
EMOTIONAL ABUSEA repeated pattern of damaging interactions between parent(s) and child that becomes typical of their relationshipChild repeatedly feels unloved, unwanted or worthlessMost commonly occurring type of abuse, but least likely to be reported
Consider emotional abuse if…Lack of attachmentLack of responsiveness to their environmentFailure to thriveParent highly critical, negative towards child
Child Abuse can lead to depression, drug abuse and homelessness later in life Fact Fiction
Effects of Abuse on ChildrenChild abuse is very serious. Many children suffer long standing harm, both physical and emotional and some children die.The effects on children and young people are dependent on factors such as:Type of abuseDuration of abuseFrequency of abuseResearch shows that the majority of adults who experience problems like depression, drug abuse, unemployment, relationship difficulties, homelessness, and crime have been abused as children.
WHO ARE THE ABUSERS?59% of perpetrators – FEMALE41% of perpetrators - MALE81% of perpetrators - PARENT ACTING ALONE
IDENTIFYING SUSPICIOUS INJURIESAccidents or Abuse?Typical sites – elbows, knees, shins, facial scratchesInflicted sites – buttocks, low back, genitals, ears, neck
CHILD ABUSE INJURIESSkeletal injuriesBite marksBruisingBurnsShaken Baby SyndromeBattered Child
SKELETAL INJURIES24% of fractures in children under the age of 3 – inflicted80% of abusive fractures - <18 mos.Most common inflicted fractures: *skull *humerus *femur *tibia *posterior ribs
BITE MARKSSemi-circular or ovalOften viewed with ultra-violet light<2.5cm vs. 2.5-3.5cm
BRUISESSuperficial injury caused by impactLocation can determine how soon bruise is visibleTrauma to the blood vesselsSwelling secondary to inflammationColor changes due to breakdown of blood
SUSPICIOUS BRUISINGinfantsupper arms, thighsfaceearsneckgenitaliaabdomenbuttocks
PATTERNS TO LOOK FOR…Wire loops - elliptical shapesBelt buckle, shoe,etc. – look for patternHand – parallel lines Ligatures – circumferential marks
BURNSFact: up to ¼ of all physical abuse is caused by some type of burnFact: most children are burned by some type of heated liquid1st, 2nd, 3rd degreeScald, flame, contact, electrical, radiation and chemical
TYPES OF BURNSScald BurnsTypical Accident is a splash or spillTypical demarcated margins inflicted scald burn has well demarcated margins Flame BurnsCommonly inflicted on hands or feet Punishment for playing with fireContact BurnsMade with heated objectsLook for patternLocation is revealing!
TYPES OF BURNSElectrical BurnsSeverity dependant on strength of current, skin resistance & contact timeOften in context of neglectChemical RadiationAmount of damage dependant on agent, strength, quantity, duration, & extent of penetrationRadiation Burns Direct or indirectOften in context of neglect
Who Reports Child Abuse
MANDATORY REPORTINGAny person who knows, or has reasonable cause to suspect, that a child is abused, abandoned, or neglected by a parent, legal custodian, caregiver, or other person responsible for the child’s welfare… shall report such knowledge to the department
Physician, osteopathic physician, medical examiner, etc…Health or mental health professionalPractitioner who relies solely of spiritual means for healingSchool teacher or other personnelSocial workerLaw enforcement officerjudge
METHODS OF REPORTING1-800-96-ABUSE1-800-914-0004(FAX; complete form, request confirmation)
HOW TO REPORT…Identify yourself; name, work address & phone numberProvide child’s information: name, age, race, sex, DOBClearly state your suspicion of what type of abuse is taking placeIf possible, give names of siblingsProvide parent/caretaker information
Describe concern for child’s safetyRequest name & ID number of hotline counselor
There are No Excuses for Failing to ReportWhen you file a report in good faith:You cannot be held liable to any person for any damages they may sufferYou are also immune from any criminal liabilityYou cannot be dismissed or penalized within your agency for making a report required by the Child Protection Law or for cooperating in an investigation.
CONSEQUENCES FORNOT REPORTING…There is a legal penalty for failure to report, (Chapter 39) “Any person required to report known or suspected child abuse or neglect and who knowingly and willfully fails to do so, or who knowingly and willfully prevents another person from doing so, is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree…”
CONFIDENTIALITYAll information related to child abuse or neglect investigations is confidential by law. All reports are confidential and access to these reports is limited by specific criteria defined in Chapter 39, Florida Statutes.
CONFIDENTIALITYCaution: be careful regarding with whom, and in what manner, you discuss any specific aspects of a given child’s case. You may share details of the case with the protective investigator, law enforcement, a guardian ad litem.
CONFIDENTIALITYAccording to Chapter 39,…the name of any person reporting child abuse or neglect shall not be released to any person other than employees of the department responsible for child protective services, the abuse registry, or the appropriate state attorney without the written consent of the person reporting.
Avoid labeling children as abused or neglectedRefrain from giving unnecessary informationRespect the privacy of the child and the familyMeet in private areas to discuss concerns about the child.
AFTER THE REPORT…LE looks for element of crime; PI looks at child safetyReports are given priority based on immediate risk to child (immediate vs. 24 hr. response)Cursory (1st)interview conducted by PI or LE with purpose of seeking indicators of abuse & the person responsibleLE or PI will request forensic interview, psychosocial assessment and/or forensic exam
IN PARTNERSHIP PROTECTINGOUR CHILDRENMission: To aid children who are the victims of abuse by providing all necessary services for child abuse cases, from report and investigation through treatment and prosecution in a child-friendly, non threatening environment.
PROGRAMSChild Protection ProgramMedical Trauma ProgramChild Advocate ProgramFamily Trauma Mental Health ProgramFamily Connections/Prevention ProgramProfessional Tools Training ProgramCase Tracking Program
Child Protection TeamChild abuse, abandonment & neglect is a multifaceted problemJanuary 2006 – Seminole County District 7CSupplement the child protective investigation of CPS,DCF or designated law enforcement
CPT ServicesForensic interviewsSpecialized interviewsForensic medical examsMedical consultsPsychosocial evaluationsPsychological evaluationsMultidisciplinary team staffingsTraining
PROTECTIVE CUSTODYWhen necessary, a law enforcement officer or authorize department agent may take a child into protective custody (Chapter 39).The decision to remove a child is not automatic once a report is received.The child can be sheltered with a non-offending parent, a relative, foster care, or a non-relative.
REMEMBER...The system is not perfect.You cannot provide everything these children need.You are making a difference in that child’s life when you report.
In Partnership Protecting ChildrenMrinalini AminCase CoordinatorChild Protection Team407-324-3036 ext email@example.com