Nurture. Thrive. Repeat.
Every child in foster care has experienced child abuse or neglect in their lifetime – that is why they are in care.
Here at Extraordinary Families, we want to equip our communities with warning signs and what to do if you suspect a child in your community has experienced some kind of abuse.
There are four different kinds of abuse: emotional, physical, sexual, and neglect.
Emotional Abuse Warning Signs
The child may:
Physical Abuse Warning Signs
Sexual Abuse Warning Signs
Child Neglect Warning Signs
If you suspect a child is being abused in your community, it is important to remember these tips:
It’s normal to feel a little overwhelmed and confused. Child abuse is a difficult subject that can be hard to accept and even talk about. When talking with a child who has been abused, the best way to encourage them is to show calm reassurance and unconditional support.
Avoid denial and remain calm. A common reaction to news as unpleasant and shocking as child abuse is denial. However, if you display denial to a child, or show shock or disgust at what they are saying, the child may be afraid to continue and will shut down. As hard as it may be, remain as calm and reassuring as you can.
Don’t interrogate. Let the child explain to you in their own words what happened, but don’t interrogate the child or ask leading questions. This may confuse and fluster the child and make it harder for them to continue their story.
Reassure the child that they did nothing wrong. It takes a lot for a child to come forward about abuse. Reassure them that you take what they said seriously, and that it is not their fault.
Safety comes first. If you feel that your safety or the safety of the child would be threatened if you tried to intervene, leave it to the professionals. You may be able to provide more support later.
How to Report Child Abuse:
If you suspect that a child is experiencing abuse, it’s vital to report it—and to continue reporting each separate incidence if it continues to occur. Each report you make is a snapshot of what’s going on in their life. The more information you can provide, the better the chance of the child getting the help they deserve.
Click here to find your state’s child abuse hotline.
All of the information above has been provided by the Children’s Bureau. To learn more visit their site at: www.childwelfare.gov/topics/preventing/preventionmonth/
Trackback URL: https://extraordinaryfamilies.org/child-abuse-prevention-month/trackback/
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