The School s Role In The Intervention of Child Abuse and Neglect

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The School s Role In The Intervention of Child Abuse and Neglect

Transcript Of The School s Role In The Intervention of Child Abuse and Neglect

Child Abuse Training and Coordination Program Family Support & Prevention Service Family Health Service Oklahoma State Department of Health
A manual for school personnel
The School’s Role In The Intervention of Child Abuse and Neglect

The School’s Role in the Intervention of Child Abuse and Neglect
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A Resource Manual for School Personnel
Written and developed by Dr. Bart Trentham
In association with: Tulsa Community College Professional Continuing Education
Tulsa, Oklahoma
and
Oklahoma’s Initiation in Child Abuse intervention
In collaboration with:
ØOklahoma Association of Community College ØOklahoma State Department of Education ØOklahoma State Department of Health
Maternal and Child Health service Office of Child Abuse Prevention
ØOklahoma State Department of Human Services

Table of Contents ———
INTRODUCTION…………………………………...…….….……...……...……... i ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS………………...………………………..….…...… ii FOREWARD………………………………………….…………………...…..……... iii UNDERSTANDING CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT
What is Child Abuse and Neglect………...………..…...…….….……... 1 Historical Perspective………………..…...……………..……...…..….… 2 What Causes Child Abuse?……………………………..……..…..……... 3 Incidence & Prevalence….…………………………….……....…..…..… 4 Did you know?…………………………………………...……....…...…….. 4 How Can We Prevent Child Abuse?……….………….….….........…… 4 Effects of Child Abuse…………………………………...….…….....……. 6 OKLAHOMA LAW Mandatory Reporting…………………..……….………...….…..……….. 7 Immunity of Reporters…………………..………….……….….…...……. 7 Failure to Report by Mandatory Reporter……………….….......…….. 7 Legal Implication for Naitve American Children………….….….….... 7 Questionable Situations……………………………………….……….….. 8
Parental Substance Abuse…………………………….………….. 8 Failure to Obtain Immunizations………………………….…..…. 8 Failure to Use Seat Belt Restraints As Required By Law…… 8 Educational Neglect……………………………….…………….…. 8 Latchkey Children………………………………………………..…. 9 IDENTIFYING CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT General Indicators to Notice In The School Setting…………...…… 10 Physical Abuse Indicators…………………………………….………….. 11 Brusing Areas……………………………………………………….. 13 Neglect Indicators…………………………………………….……………. 14 Emotional Abuse Indicators………………………..…………..………… 15 Sexual Abuse Indicators………………………………………..…………. 16 RESPONDING TO A CHILD’S DISCLOSURE OF ABUSE…………..……….. 18 REPORTING PROCEDURES School District Reporting……………………………………...…………. 22 Model School Reporting Policy……………………..………….....…….. 22 Child Abuse or Neglect Reporting Process………..………...……….. 23 Child Observation Documentation…………………….…….………….. 24 Suspected Child Abuse/Neglect Report…………………..…….…….. 25

AFTER A REPORT IS MADE……………………………………………………….. 26 Responsibilities of the Department of Human Services…………….. 26 Responsibilities of Law Enforcement…………………………………… 26 Responsiblities of Multidisciplinary Team……………..………………. 27 Court Action and Testimony By School Employees………….…….... 27
ASSISTING THE CHILD VICTIM AND FAMILY Working With the Abused Child in the Classroom………..……….…. 28 Security……………………………………………..………...….….. 28 Structure……………………………………………………...….….. 28 Identity…………………………………………………………….….. 28 Consistency & Predictability…………………………………...… 28 Sense of Belonging……………………………………………..….. 29 Intimacy In Appropriate Ways……………………………..….…. 29 Approval………………………………………………………………. 29 Enhancement of Positive Self-Concept……………………...…. 29 Support for the Family………………………………………….….. 29 Responsibility……………………………………………………...… 29 Choices………………………………………………………….…….. 29 Be Prepared………………………………………………….….…... 30 Positive Reinforcements………………………………………...… 30
PROTECTING THE EDUCATOR Protection Yourself From Being Falsely Accused of Abuse….…..... 31 Pro-Active Strategies for Avoiding False Allegations…………...….. 31 Cultivation School and Interagency Partnerships………………….... 33
RESOURCES Oklahoma’s Child Advocacy Centers…………………………………… 34 Local & Statewide Resources…………………………………….….….. 36 National Resources………………………………………………….…..... 39
REFERENCES…………………………………………………………………….…. 44

Understanding Child Abuse and Neglect
What is Child Abuse and Neglect?
Child Abuse is defined by Oklahoma law as nonaccidental physical or mental injury cause by the act or omissions of the child’s parents or caretakers. This includes the folowing types of abuse.
Physical Abuse:
Physical abuse may be defined as any act which, regardless of intent, result in a nonaccidental physical injury. Nonaccidental injuries may include beatings, brusing, shaking, burns, human bites or broken bones.
Neglect:
Failure to provid a child with the basic needs of food, clothing, shelter, medical care, educational opportunities, protection or supervision.
Mental/Emotional Abuse:
Mental injury or emotional abuse involves a pattern of behavior that attacks the child’s emotional development and sense of self-worth. Examples of emotional abuse may include constant criticizing, belittling, insulting, rejecting or providing no love, support or guidance.
Sexual Abuse:
Sexual abuse is defined as the exploitiation of a child or adolescent for the sexual gratification of a person reponsible for the child’s health and safety. Sexual abuse encompasses a broad range of behavior and may consist of many acts over a long period of time or one single incident.
Child abuse and neglect occurs in all cultural, ethnic, religious, occupational, and socioeconomic groups.
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Historical Perspective
The physical and sexual abuse of children is a logical outgrowth of our country's heritage, fascination with sex, and predilection toward violence (Walters, 1975). In fact, the United States has a long history of treating children as inferiors to be done with as the adult caretaker wishes. The thirteen colonies drew upon English common law by adopting the legal view that children were a form of property of their parents. Although the law did recognize the parental obligation to maintain, educate, and protect one's own child, only cases of severe child abuse, involving cruel and merciless punishment or permanent physical injury, resulted in intervention and criminal prosecution (Montelcone, J. A., 1996).
During the Industrial Revolution, because of inhumane child labor, there was a greater willingness to recognize the need for child protection. Not until 1874, however, with the founding of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, an outgrowth of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (which had existed for nearly 50 years), was there a significant push to address child abuse issues. However, most child protection laws were not developed until the twentieth century.
As recently as 40 years ago, the sexual abuse of children was thought to be extremely uncommon. In 1955, in a landmark work on incest, it was estimated that the rate of incest among children in the United States was only about one per million (Faller, 1990, p 13). Today, experts in the treatment of sexually abused children believe that as many as one in three American females and one in six males are sexually abused during their childhood (Faller, 1988).
Although child abuse is now legally prohibited, some parent advocacy groups still do not consider any punishment of a child to be abusive as long as it is inflicted as discipline. They focus on the parent's positive intentions, knowing that parents typically believe they are doing what is best for their child. Similarly, different cultural and religious values often influence how parents discipline and respond to their children's needs. When deciding to report abuse or neglect, teachers should not be influenced by the caregiver's intent. Teachers should simply report their concerns and allow the courts, law enforcement, and social services to determine whether it is abusive or parental authority.
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What Causes Child Abuse?
There is often a fine line between abuse and discipline. In order for children to grow up and become productive members of society, subject to society's norms, values, and rules, all children need discipline. Discipline is a learning process designed to teach appropriate behaviors. Unlike discipline, abuse is not a learning process. It is designed to stop behavior through inflicting pain. It does not teach alternative, correct behavior. Therefore, abused children do not learn correct behavior. They learn to avoid punishment. There is no one single cause of child abuse. Rather, there are multiple forces on the family, which reinforce each other and which cause abuse and neglect (Lauer, Laurie, Salus, & Broadhurst, 1979). Research has shown that there are certain factors, which can be positively correlated with abuse. Listed below are some characteristics, which may contribute to child abuse.
Adult Caretaker. Has unrealistic expectations that are inconsistent with the child's developmental age Has poor impulse control Reacts to stress with violence Has poor coping skills in stressful situations Does not have a support system (family and friends) to help with the demands of parenting Does not have models of successful family relationships Does not have models of successful parenting Uses physical punishment as a primary method of discipline May view child as "different" or difficult Has history of being abused and/ or neglected as a child Has history of alcohol and/or substance abuse Suffers from physical or mental illness Experiences feelings of rejection Has a poor self image
Environmental Conditions: Unemployment/change in financial situation Death in family Changes in family structure (divorce, separation) Inadequate housing Another pregnancy or birth in the family Change in place of residence
Societal Attitudes: Acceptance and even glorification of violence Lack of willingness to become involved Belief that parents (adults) have the right to treat their own children any way they please Rigid gender role stereotypes School/agency discipline policies which include corporal punishment Media portrayal of sexual violence Discomfort discussing child maltreatment; particularly sexual abuse
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Incidence and Prevalence
The educator must be aware of his/her own feelings and responsibilities toward what has happened with the child who comes to him/her for help. It is difficult for most caring adults to hear a child report the details of victimization, and most educators are personally and professionally invested in nurturing children toward educational and emotional growth. The following data would indicate that the concerned educator must prepare him/ herself for the almost certain eventuality that a student will approach him/her for help at some point in their teaching career.
Did you Know?
1 The average age of fatalities from child abuse is 21/2 years (Bonner, 1996). 2 Over 2,700,000 children are abused and neglected each year in the United States
(Squyres, 1997). 3 Ten percent of the victims of child sexual abuse are boys (Faller, 1998). 4 There are more children under the age of 10 reporting sexual abuse than teenagers
(Family and Children's Services, 1997). 5 At least one of every 3 girls and one of every 6 boys will be sexually victimized before age 18
(Faller, 1988). 6 There is no substantial difference in child death rates between urban and rural counties
(Bonner, 1996).

Research has identified several categories of children who run a higher risk than normal for abuse/ neglect, including*:
Pre-schoolers Children from single-parent homes Latch-key children Premature, sickly infants Children from stressful family situations (including poverty) Children with physical/mental disabilities

*

Briere and Runtz, 1988; Friedrich W., 1990; Kluft, R., 1990; McFarlane, K., Waterman, J., Conerly, S., Damon, L, Durfoe, M.,&

Long, 5,1986

How Can We Prevent Child Abuse?
Effective efforts to prevent abuse and neglect should address the facts listed above. Research shows that the earlier the intervention the greater the likelihood for success.
Components of Prevention Programming Primary Prevention: Aimed at positively influencing parents/caretakers before abuse or neglect occurs. key aspects of primary prevention:
Offered to all members of a population Voluntary Promote positive family functioning rather than preventing abuse

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Examples of primary prevention include: Abuse prevention education Social skill building, valuing diversity, impulse control, coping and stress reduction, communication skills Parenting education Media promotion Before school programs After school programs Parent/school/community partnerships Family life, child development and sexuality education New parent support/ nurturing programs Referrals to community resources and support services Home visitation programs
Secondary Prevention: Refers to services offered to individuals considered to be "at risk" for abuse or neglect. Abuse and/or neglect has not been identified or reported. Key aspects for secondary prevention include:
Offered to a predefined group of vulnerable individuals Voluntary Focuses on particular stresses of identified individuals Identifies appropriate and inappropriate boundaries Examples of secondary prevention include: Student assistance programs School based clinics Community mental health services Adolescent parenting/day care programs Parent support groups Agency/school partnerships Crisis and respite program Home visitation programs Tertiary Prevention: Refers to services provided to children who have been identified as abused/neglected or to individuals who have been identified as abusive or neglectful to children. The intent of these services is to prevent reoccurrence of abuse and/or neglect. Examples of tertiary prevention include: Emergency shelters for children taken into protective custody Foster care Court ordered counseling, therapy, parent education Hospitalization Incarceration Juvenile justice system Crisis care Supervised visitation
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Effects of Child Abuse The impact of child abuse on the child covers a broad range from little to no effect to major physical and emotional problems. Effects will vary depending on such things as the child's relationship to the perpetrator, the degree of force used, the duration of abuse, the child's age and the child's pre-abuse functioning. Children who have been abused may have delays in physical and/or developmental growth and may find it difficult to trust others. Children don't grow up and forget their childhood, or their experiences. They carry physical and emotional scars throughout their lives, sometimes repeating the pattern of abuse or neglect with their own children. Abused and neglected children can suffer permanent physical impairment, drops in intelligence scores, increases in learning disabilities, depression, and drug and alcohol abuse. Additional side effects include suicide, violence, delinquency, attachment disorders and forms of cruelty (i.e.; to animals or other children).
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ChildrenAbuseChild AbuseChildNeglect