Child abuse can be detected whenever failure on the part of a parent, guardian or even a care taker leads to emotional and physical harm. These acts show that a care takers failure to act, would result into the child being hurt ("Risk Factors of Child Abuse | Child Matters - Educating to Prevent Child Abuse", 2016). It is essential for the parent/guardian or any caretaker to take time examining the child and look at certain aspects and signs. There are signs that one could look for to identify the issue and this can occur as a result of certain factors, namely;
Factors responsible for the issue occurring
In physical abuse, the subject is subjected to physical harm like battering. The basic signs include broken bones, burns, unexplained bruises and elements of welting when the subject is undergoing healing process. Another key identification factor is the fact that the child exhibits signs of fear from the parent or care taker and in most cases they do not desire to go home..Sexual
For sexual abuse, the child is exposed to unsuitable sexual activity that narrow down to both the minor witnessing and being used in the very act. Some of the signs that depict sexual abuse include: fear of being alone with a particular person, sudden unexplained fears, and inappropriate knowledge about sex for their age. Others include swelling or bleeding in the childs genital areas.
This is the failure of parents or caretakers to offer adequate care thereby exposing the child to injury. Besides, their overall growth becomes hindered. Neglect in most cases would include lack of food, shelter, supervision and abandonment. To identify the issue, one looks out for signs such as malnutrition in the child, certain acts such as stealing and begging. In other cases, the child would also exhibit poor hygiene, bad odour, dirty skin and untreated disorders. Other absurd cases also involve lateness and truancy in school and poor dressing standards.
Risk factors enabling abuse more or less likely to occur:
Risk factors in this case refer to the various contributing factors to child abuse. They tend to expose the child to various vulnerabilities towards their abuse. In this case, they can be divided into three risk factors ("Risk Factors of Child Abuse | Child Matters - Educating to Prevent Child Abuse", 2016):
Child risk factors
Parental risk factors:
They include cases such as parents having a background of abuse. Hence, there are chances of abusing their children with this regard. In certain instances such as:
The child might have been born as a result of unwanted pregnancy, thus the parent would be hostile to the child.
Parents that are mentally ill can also pose risk of abuse to their children.
Environmental risk factors:
Environmental factors can subject a child to abuse in instances such as:
The family going through multiple stresses
Existence of family violence and
Poverty which might cripple the family
Child risk factors:
They can be attributed to:
The lack of attachment between the parent and the child
The child is part of an abusive relationship
How to recognize, document and refer potentially serious issues in line with organizational requirements:
On the first account, the fundamental method used in recognition of potentially serious issues is the keen observation and appropriate questioning of the abused child. With regard to the answers obtained, it becomes important to review available documented data or information regarding the clients history on abuse and developmental status. In this case, observation focuses on a range of factors tending to impact the abused childs behavior and appearance (Child Matters, 2016, pp1). Furthermore, obtaining information through questioning or observation also ensures identification of the potentially serious problems.
On documentation, there should be checking out on any indicators of the potentially serious issues that would require the authorities be notified and reports filed. In another instance, documentation would also require checking on indicators that prevent the provision of the required services to a child in a given time ("Risk Factors of Child Abuse | Child Matters - Educating to Prevent Child Abuse", 2016). Moreover, it is at this point that issues that require referral can be identified. After this, a report and documentation is executed in line with the organizational procedures and policies.
Referral of a potentially serious issue would only be recommended after the indicators at the documentation phase prevent provision of readily available services at that stage. Therefore, it leaves no doubt that the organization in one way or another cannot handle the services required at that given time, thus giving room for referral.
Issues requiring mandatory reporting:
These are grounds over which a report must be made in cases where a child has been subjected to abuse and there is concrete evidence to back up the report. They include instances such as:
Allowing or encouraging a child to engage in prostitution
Physical abuse resulting to burns, bruises, or fracture of the bones.
Neglect of a child through failure to offer food, shelter and clothing
Issues such as sexual assault, incest and molestation of minors
The effect of ones personal values or beliefs on mandatory reporting:
Effect of personal values and beliefs would determine the overall effect of the reporting of cases of child abuse to child organizations and relevant authorities. With this regard, the most spiritual teachings allege to the fact that children are special gifts that require utmost attention ("Risk Factors of Child Abuse | Child Matters - Educating to Prevent Child Abuse", 2016). When an individual reports instances of abuse, he or she is exercising personal responsibility and wants justice to prevail. Another primary issue for consideration is the ethical concerns. This requires that most individuals follow rules and ethical standards in accordance to societal expectations. This act will result into the effectiveness of recognizing and documenting reports of child abuse and ensuring that they are properly addressed to avoid repetition.
Risk Factors of Child Abuse | Child Matters - Educating to Prevent Child Abuse. (2016). Childmatters.org.nz. Retrieved 12 July 2016, from http://www.childmatters.org.nz/57/learn-about-child-abuse/risk-factors
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