Identifying Emotional and Psychological Abuse: A Guide for Childcare Professionals

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Be careful about making assumptions; your job is to report so qualified personnel can do the rest.

It is likely that your program already has processes in place to prevent child abuse. Many newer facilities are built with vision panels so individuals can see into the classroom from the hallway and outside. Restrooms are built with low barriers rather than doors. Closed-circuit surveillance cameras, visitor sign-in procedures, and daily health checks are all part of a comprehensive system for preventing child abuse.

Never use harsh discipline practices. The following practices should never be used:. There is also a lot you can do in your classroom.

What Every Child Needs For Good Mental Health | Mental Health America

Good room arrangement and design is your first step. Make sure there are no blind spots in the room. You need to be able to see all children at all times. Be aware of the behaviors you heard described in the video. If you notice an adult acting strangely, act on your suspicions. Use the checklist provided in the Apply section to make sure you are doing all you can to keep children safe. All professionals working with children are mandated reporters.

You have a legal responsibility to report signs of possible abuse or maltreatment and known abuse. If you are not sure abuse has occurred, but you suspect it, you must contact legal authorities. An important reason for letting your supervisor know of your suspicions is so they can report it to their chain of command. When you report in good faith, you may do so confidentially and you are protected by law. This line is always available and can help you find emergency resources. Reporting suspected child abuse or neglect can be a stressful event for teachers.

It is important to mentally prepare yourself for what happens after the call. In most states, your report will be evaluated by Child Protective Services. If there is enough evidence to warrant an investigation, a caseworker will initiate the investigation.

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Children, families, and caregivers may be contacted and interviewed. Child Protective Services will determine whether the claim is substantiated and whether the child is safe in the home. If the report of abuse involves alleged criminal acts, law enforcement will be contacted and the investigation will be conducted jointly. It can be especially difficult to report suspected cases of abuse and neglect when the alleged perpetrator is one of your co-workers.

Latest news on child abuse and neglect

You might doubt yourself or question what you saw. You might worry about how that individual or other staff will treat you. You might be afraid of publicity or damaging the reputation of your program. You might even be discouraged from reporting by coworkers or leaders. Remember, it is your job to keep children safe and to speak for children. Trust your instincts. If you suspect abuse or neglect, make a report. It is important to prepare yourself emotionally for what follows a report. First, understand that you may never hear back about the results of your report.

Identifying emotional and psychological abuse: a guide for childcare professionals

Second, some families remove their child from the program after a report of child abuse or neglect. Both of these events are normal and can be expected. Some teachers fear that making a report may get the child in trouble and may lead to more abuse. Remember you have done the right thing. Do not let fear of what might happen next stop you from doing what you can to protect the child.

Finally, take care of yourself.

Introduction to Child Abuse and Neglect

Protecting a child who is experiencing trauma can be an exhausting and emotionally draining experience. You are likely very invested in this child's health and safety. You may have spent hours worrying about this child's well-being and wondering what to do. You can seek the help of a mental-health specialist in your program. Seek out time with friends and family. You should also be sure to keep healthful habits like eating well, exercising, and sleeping.


  • Frankenstein Thrift Study Edition (Dover Thrift Study Edition).
  • Types of abuse | NSPCC;
  • Combinations of Intelligent Methods and Applications: Proceedings of the 4th International Workshop, CIMA 2014, Limassol, Cyprus, November 2014 (at ICTAI 2014).

Making a child abuse report can be emotionally difficult for adults. It can be helpful to explore your feelings about discovering possible abuse and filing a report.

Download and print the following vignette and reflect on the questions. Prepare for typical feelings that surface when reporting suspected or known abuse. When considering whether to file a child abuse report, it may be helpful to reflect on questions designed to help you assess the situation. Remember, if you suspect or know of abuse, you must report it. True or False?

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As a mandated reporter you are legally bound to report known cases of child abuse or neglect. Caring for Our Children: National health and safety performance standards; Guidelines for early care and education programs. American Academy of Pediatrics, Healthy Children. Ohio Department of Job and Family Services Child Welfare Information Gateway.

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