Understanding Child Neglect. Paper Example

Published: 2023-03-14
Understanding Child Neglect. Paper Example
Type of paper:  Research paper
Categories:  Parenting Child development Child abuse Social issue
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1911 words
16 min read

Society is made up or various units for it's to be completed. One of the main unit within the society is the family which made up various members. The main purpose of the family is to bring it members together so that they can live in harmony. A child is one of the members who makes a family to be completed. In every family, it is important that a child should be natured well to grow to be a responsible person. Parent should ensure that a child gets all the care that is essential for proper growth. As much as there is the need to ensure that children are well taken care of in the society, there has been several challenges related to this matters. Most of the children are bound to be mistreated especially by the people who are meant to protect them from any kind of harm. The number of children mistreated by their adults is high because most of them are seen to be weak hence they cannot defend themselves. Due to the presence of this matter in the society, this paper will provide a detailed study on child welfare with specific focus on the topic of negligence from the cultural lens. Moreover, the paper will cover the issue relating to Canadian Social Work practice concerning child mistreatment as well as the critical review of the literature and pinpoint the areas that may be required for future study.

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Definition of the Critical Issues

The main critical issue in this paper child neglect. Child neglect refers to an instance of child abuse and the deficiency in meeting the needs of the child such as health care, housing and clothing. However, the issue of child neglect may be varied among people from various cultures. In this case, something that many considered as cultural neglect by one culture may not be so by the other one.

Reasons Why Neglected Children Have the Worse Outcomes

Child neglect has turned out to be one of the major problems in the society. The presence of this problem within the society is affecting the children in various.

Mental Health Problems

One of the reasons why child neglect has the worse outcome compared to those who have not been abused is that it causes them to develop mental health problems. A lot of research has been done and it has shown that there is a huge relationship between various mental health problems and children maltreatment such as the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as the most common one (Kufeldt, 2014).

Many children who have been mistreated and have developed Post Traumatic Stress disorder are likely to be having other kinds of disorders such as opposition defiant and conduct disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and mood, anxiety, and adjustment disorders(Kufeldt, 2014). Several mental health problems such as anxiety disorders as well as depression have been linked with child neglect and abuse. Therefore, the children who have been mistreated and neglected are likely to have poor outcomes since their mental health is not stable(Kufeldt, 2014).

Learning and Developmental Problems

Secondly, neglected children have the worst outcomes because they experience learning and developmental problems. Many children who have been abused and maltreated are likely to have difficulties in learning and they may exhibit poor academic performance (Kufeldt, 2014). Children who are neglected and abused in their early years will have a serious problems in development. For instance, these children are likely to have difficulties in developing the speech as well as the language which is the most critical aspect of child development (Kufeldt, 2014). The learning and developmental problems that is caused due to child abused and maltreatment may result poor outcomes such as low academic achievement compared to those who have been treated well.

Attachment and interpersonal Problems

Thirdly, neglected children have a poor outcome because they develop attachment as well as interpersonal relationship problems. As a child grows, the attachment and relationship development by their care giver is important (Kufeldt, 2014). These factors helps the child to feel the love and care while growing up. However, neglecting these children will interfere with the development of this attachment as well as relationship. This issue will make the children to developed insure attachment with the people who are supposed to give them care and protection. Eventually, these children will have a worse outcome since the insecure attachment will interrupt the normal development of the children (Kufeldt, 2014). This problem may go further and affect the ability of the children to communicate as well as interact with other people. Therefore, this problem will affect the children as they will not be able to develop healthy relationship with other people.

Behavioral Problems

The development of behavioral problems is the forth reason why neglected children have a worse outcome than those who have been abused. Neglecting a child is associated with several behavioral problems such as isolation, depression, being sad, withdrawn, aggressive and hyperactive (Kufeldt, 2014). Therefore, when a child is neglected, he or she lacks the love and care that is required and this will force him or her to start being sad or not associated with other people (Kufeldt, 2014). Similarly, neglected children may become aggressive as well as hyperactive.

Overrepresentation of the Canadian Immigrant Youth in the Canadian Welfare System

In Canada, most of the children who are either neglected or mistreated are represented in the Canadian Welfare system (Kufeldt, 2014). However, the number of the youths who are represented by the Canadian Welfare System has been increasing (Kufeldt, 2014). The increase in this number lately shows that there are a lot of children that are either being neglected or mistreated by their adults. Due to this kind of treatment, the children are them forced to go to the children welfare is that they have been protected by the authorities from being harmed (Kufeldt, 2014).

Understanding Neglect through the Cultural Lens

Child Neglect can be looked at from different angles and one of them is through the cultural lens. Various cultures have different ways of doing things (Kufeldt, 2014). In some cultures, there are certain activities which when done to children may be considered as child neglect. However, when the same actions are done to child in another culture, it may not be considered as child neglected. Therefore, the cultural lens explain that child neglect may be varied and some aspect that may been deemed serious in other culture may actually be an issue of concern.

Four Elements of Neglect

The issue of child neglect has been experienced in many areas and the number of the affected children has gone up in the past few years. As a result of the high number of children affected by the problem of neglect, there is need to understand the issue well (Blackstock 2011). Therefore, there have been certain elements of neglect that have to be understood.

Physical Abuse

The first element of neglect is the physical abuse. The physical abuse refers to the act causing injuries to a child none accidentally (Blackstock 2011). These injuries that a child gets through this pain can be may include bruises, fractures and lesions. Most of these injuries result from beating, hitting, chocking, shaking, punching, burning or any other means that can be used to harm the child (Kufeldt, 2014).

For an injury not to be considered as physical abuse, the parent or the caregiver has to make sure that he or she does not harm the child intentionally (Blackstock 2011). There are specific types of physical child abuse that are presents. One of these physical child abuse is the Shaken Baby Syndrome (Blackstock 2011). The shaken baby syndrome involves various signs as well as symptoms which causes a baby to shake violently. According to Blackstock (2011), this shaking may be harmful to the affected baby since it may result in the tearing of the brain which may cause bleeding. Bleeding may result in the permanent damage of the brain or death eventually.

The second type of physical abuse is the Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome. This physical abuse refers to the induction of medical illness on children to convince other people that the child is sick (Blackstock 2011). This situation shows that there is a poor relationship between the child and the parent. Moreover, this situation is an excrement form of attachment disorder. The other form of indirect form of physical abuse is the alcohol and other substances during pregnancy (Blackstock 2011). These elements are harmful, hence when a parent takes them during pregnancy, they are likely to harm the unborn child. This action is a form of negligence because the child gets exposed to certain health conditions such as cancer or respiratory problems.

Physical abuse in a child starts to be evident when a child starts reporting injury caused by the care giver or an adult parent (Blackstock 2011). Secondly, physical abuse in a child is evident when he or she is frightened of the parents and sometimes the child may reject to go home when it is time (Blackstock 2011). Also, a child may show signs of physical abuse when he or she is scared whenever there are adults around. Furthermore, the presence of noticeable marks or fading bruises may be a good sign that a child is experiencing physical abuse.

Sexual Abuse

The second element child neglect is the sexual abuse. Sexual Abuse refers to the scenario whereby there is a sexual behavior or the sexual exploitation of a child (Blackstock 2011). There are various types of sexual offences that can be present against the children. According to Blackstock (2011), these sexual offenses include molestation, rape or the distribution of child pornography.

Any form for vaginal or anal intercourse with a child is classified as rape according to the law because there is no way that a child can give consent to any form of sexual abuse. Therefore, there is no way that a child can be blamed for any form of sexual abuse (Blackstock 2011). There is a wide range of behaviors that may constitute child sexual abuse. These activities include rape that is vaginal or anal penetration, genital contact without any intrusion, indecent exposure, sexual exploitation, production, distribution as well as the possession of the child pornography.

Most of the cases of child abuse that has been experienced in the past years have been as a result of incest (Blackstock 2011). Incest is a form of abuses that involves the penetration by a close member of the family or any person that the child knows who may be in adoptive families, step families and adoptive families (Blackstock 2011). Strangers only account for the 10% of cases that are related to sexual abuse of a child. Sexual abusers of children may be mothers, siblings, fathers, friends, relatives, baby sitters, child professionals, strangers as well as the neighbors.

The main sign of child abuse may include inappropriate knowledge of certain sexual acts. The other signs is avoiding things that may be related to sexuality (Blackstock 2011). Apart from these signs of child abuse, a child may show other signals such as exhibiting seductive behavior, excessive aggression, fear of certain family members, and uninhibited behavior (Blackstock 2011).


The third element of child neglect is the neglect itself. Neglect refers to the failure of the care givers or the parents of the child to provide the basic need of a child. In this case, the abuse of the child occurs through omission of the elements that are necessary to the child. Neglect occurs in many forms. One of the forms of neglect that most children go through is the physical neglect.

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