Parents Handbook > Child Abuse and Neglect

Child Abuse and Neglect

Child abuse is a serious problem. Children have the right to live a life free from violence and have  the same rights and freedoms as adults, and are not responsible for the violence perpetrated against them.  The protection and safety of children is everyone’s concern. We are committed to protecting children and helping them grow.  All children have a right to live free from abuse and neglect and depend on others for their safety and well-being.

The primary responsibility for ensuring the safety and well-being of children lies with each child’s parent(s)/guardian(s)/caretaker(s). Children depend on their parents to love, nurture and protect them. Parents have a duty to provide for the children’s emotional and physical well-being while also being responsible for controlling and supervising their children. Others too have a special duty to help keep children safe. This includes professionals who care for children. Therefore it is our legal obligation to report any suspected cases of abuse. While respecting the fact that families have a right to the smallest invasion of their privacy.  It is not our responsibility or intention to offer interpretation or explanation of our observations.

Types of Child Abuse

Child abuse happens when somebody or certain situation threatens the development, security and survival of a child. According to the protocols in the “Child Victims of Abuse and Neglect”,  many forms of abuse are criminal in nature. Child abuse can include Sexual Abuse, Physical Abuse, Physical Neglect, Emotional Maltreatment and Verbal Abuse.

Sexual Abuse : refers to any sexual act involving a child and a parent, caretaker, any person in a position of trust, and/or any other person.

Physical Abuse: refers to all actions resulting in non-accidental physical injury or harm.

Physical Neglect: refers to acts of omission by the parent/guardian/caretaker.  This includes failure to provide for the child’s basic needs and appropriate level of care with respect to food, clothing, shelter, health, hygiene, and safety.

Emotional Maltreatment: refers to both emotional abuse and emotional neglect of the child.

Verbal Abuse:  is a kind of battering which doesn’t leave evidence, and is often difficult to see because it doesn’t leave visible scars. It involves name-calling, yelling at or ignoring, put downs, blaming, criticizing, belittling, insulting, rejecting or threatening with abandonment.

Reporting Child Abuse

The protection and best interests of children prevail over the interests of  parent(s)/guardian(s)/caretaker(s) or families when cases of child abuse are reported or investigated.   The first concern of both the police and Child Protection Services is the protection of the child.

As a Childcare Educator, we may find ourselves in a position where a child shows some indication of abuse or neglect.  Legally, the Director and staff members have a responsibility of reporting any suspected cases of abuse.  No proof of abuse is needed, only a suspicion based on observations that have been made.  When it is suspected by any staff that a child may have been neglected or abused, the matter shall be referred immediately to Child Protection Services (CPS) of the Department of Family and Community   

Services and informed that a report of abuse has been filed.  The following information will be provided to the Child Protection Worker:

– Child’s complete name, birth date and address

– Parent(s)/guardian/caretaker(s) name(s) and address

– Details of the suspected abuse or neglect

– The name of the person who identified the suspected abuse/neglect, their address and phone number

– The name and address of the facility and the name of the Director

**We cannot interview a child or contact the parent(s)/guardian(s)/caretaker(s).