Call 740-833-2340 To Report Abuse or Neglect of Children
Understanding and identifying child abuse is the first step towards preventing it.
Abused children may be too afraid or embarrassed to report their abuse, so they are dependent on adults like you to report any abuse that you may suspect. Below are the different forms of child abuse and some of the behavioral indicators that children experiencing abuse may exhibit. These behavioral indicators do not always mean the child has been abused, but rather these are some of the possible signs they may exhibit.
What is abuse?
Abuse represents an action against a child. It is an act of commission. Generally, abuse is categorized as follows:
- Physical Abuse: The non-accidental injury to a child.
- Sexual Abuse: Any act of a sexual nature upon or with a child. The act may be for the sexual gratification of the perpetrator or a third party. This would, therefore, include not only anyone who actively participated in the sexual activity, but also anyone who allowed or encouraged it.
- Emotional Abuse: Chronic attitude or acts which interfere with the psychological or social development of a child. Each of us is guilty of having unkindly snubbed a child or having criticized him too harshly, but emotional abuse is consistent and chronic behavior. It usually is related to a constellation of interactions and is cumulative.
What is neglect?
Neglect is a failure to act on behalf of a child. It is an act of omission. Neglect may be thought of as child-rearing practices which are essentially inadequate or dangerous. It may not produce visible signs, and it usually occurs over a period of time. Neglect may be physical or emotional.
- Physical Neglect: Failure to meet the requirements basic to a child’s physical development, such as supervision, housing, clothing, medical attention, nutrition and support. For purposes of reporting, some agencies may further break this category into more specific acts of omission, such as medical neglect, lack of proper supervision or educational neglect.
- Emotional Neglect: Failure to provide the support or affection necessary to a child’s psychological and social development. Failure on the part of the parent to provide the praise, nurturance, love or security essential to the child’s development of a sound and healthy personality may constitute emotional neglect.
The effects of extreme deprivation can be seen in the medical syndrome “non-organic failure to thrive.” Failure to thrive is a condition in which children show a marked retardation or cessation of growth. On a normal growth chart, failure to thrive children usually fall below the 3rd percentile.
Reporting Abuse or Neglect, what information should you give?
- The name and address of the child you suspect is being abused or neglected.
- The age of the child.
- The name and address of the parent or caretaker of the child.
- The reason you suspect the child is being abused or neglected.
- Any other information which may be helpful to the investigation.
- Your name, if you want to give it. You may report anonymously if you choose, but you are encouraged to give your name. This makes it possible for the children’s protective services worker to get in touch with you later if additional or clarifying information is needed.
**Note: The reporting source is not made known to the parties involved with the abuse/neglect if the reporter does choose to leave his/her name. If you are a mandated reporter, you may be required by the children services agency to follow up your verbal report in writing. This request generally is made if your report is based on specific diagnostic information or if an agreement exists between your agency of employment and Children Services.
It is helpful if you provide as much of this information as you can. You should not hesitate to report if you do not have all the information. Any uncertainty regarding whether to report should be resolved in favor of the child’s protection.