Issues as a Result of Abuse, Neglect and Maltreatment
|✅ Paper Type: Free Essay||✅ Subject: Social Work|
|✅ Wordcount: 2735 words||✅ Published: 8th Feb 2020|
The effects of child abuse, maltreatment, and neglect can be deeply shocking to children. Child abuse and maltreatment go hand on hand with each other. Abuse can be defined as treating a child with cruelty or violence, especially regularly or repeatedly. Maltreatment can be defined as a cruel or violent treatment to a child. “Child maltreatment can have a devastating impact on children; adverse psychological, somatic and social consequences that affect childhood and later adult development and even persist into old age” (Jud Par.2). The types of maltreatment are defined as physical abuse, neglect, emotional abuse, exploitation, and sexual abuse. Physical abuse is defined as any non-accidental act by a parent or caretaker that results in physical injury to a child. Some characteristics physical abuse may include striking, kicking, burning, biting, hair pulling, choking, throwing, whipping, and or any other action that injures a child. Sexual Abuse is the act of sexual assault or sexual exploitation of a child by another person. Some forms of child sexual abuse may include exposing oneself to a minor, sexual intercourse, masturbation in the presence of a minor or forcing the minor to masturbate, obscene phone calls, text messages, or digital interaction, producing or sharing pornographic images or movies of children, sex of any kind with a minor including vaginal, oral, or anal, sex trafficking, and last but not least any other sexual conduct that is harmful to a child’s mental, emotional, or physical wellbeing. Emotional Abuse can be defined as an emotional damage or distress or deprivation that is the result of a parent or caregivers’ actions or inaction.
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“Neglect can have serious and long-lasting effects. It can be anything from leaving a child home alone to the very worst cases where a child dies from malnutrition or being denied the care they need. In some cases, it can cause permanent disabilities. Neglect can be really difficult to identify, making it hard for professionals to take early action to protect a child” (NSPCC Par.1). There are two categories of child neglect which are general neglect and severe neglect. General neglect is defined such as not providing adequate food, clothing, shelter, medical care, or supervision, where no physical injury to the child has occurred. Severe neglect is defined such as the negligent failure of a parent or caretaker to protect the child from severe malnutrition or medically diagnosed non-organic failure to thrive. It also includes situations where the parent or caretaker willfully causes or permits the body or health of the child to be endangered. An example of general neglect is failing to provide enough healthy food or drink for the child to get proper nutrition or not providing your child with clean clothes or hygiene. An example of severe neglect is hitting your child with objects on the face and or not taking your child to the hospital or an appropriate medical professional for serious illness or injury and willing fully hurting your child.
Children with parents who abuse alcohol or drugs are more likely to experience abuse or neglect than children in other households. According to the mandated report training video, mandated reporters should be aware of the risk factors of the family structure, age, low-socioeconomic status, foster children, race and ethnic, rural living, gender, parent unemployed status, witness and victim of a crime. Family structure is the most important risk factor in child sexual abuse and maltreatment. Children who live with two married biological parents are at a low risk for abuse. The risk increases where children live with stepparents or a single parent. Children who live with a single parent that has a live-in partner are at the highest risk, they are twenty times more likely to be victims of child sexual abuse than children living with both biological parents because the child has not emotional or biological relationship with the live in partner and are more likely to be mistreated. Age is also a significant factor, while there is a risk for all children of all ages, children are at most vulnerable to be abused between the ages of seven and thirteen. The most common age that has been reported is nine years old. Children that are sexually abused more than twenty percent are abused before the age of eight years old. Children in low socioeconomic status households are three times as likely to be identified as a victim of child abuse, neglect and maltreatment. Children living without either parent such as foster children are ten times more likely to be sexually abused than children that live with both biological parents. Race and ethnicity are an important factor in identified sexual abuse. African American children have almost twice the risk of sexual abuse than white children. Children of Hispanic ethnicity have a slightly greater risk than non- Hispanic white children. Children who live in rural areas are almost two times more likely to be identified as victims of child sexual abuse.
When a child is abused, neglected, and maltreated he or she have to live with a life that is detrimental with negative consequences and negative results due to his or her experiences. A child can face (ACE) known as Adverse Childhood Experiences which are potentially traumatic events that can have a negative and lasting effects on their health and their well-being. “These experiences range from physical, emotional, or sexual abuse to parental divorce or the incarceration of a parent or guardian. ACEs, especially when they cause toxic levels of stress, have been found to impair multiple aspects of health and development. These effects are especially likely when children have had exposure to multiple adversities. In fact, the more adversities an individual has experienced, the higher the likelihood that individual will have serious mental and physical health problems later in life” (Child Trends Par.4). Children who are abused, neglected, and maltreated are at a higher risk for health problems as adults and will have long lasting effects and risk factors related to ACEs. Some impact subsequent stages of behavior issues as a result of abuse, neglect, and maltreatment can be an early death such as exposure to childhood traumatic and negative health behaviors that are associated with premature death during childhood. Children can have problems in their health conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, sexual transmitted disease, and also fetal death. Children can also experience negative behaviors such as alcoholism, unhealthy quality of life, the use of drug abuse or prescription, smoking, early initiation of sexual activity, adolescence pregnancy, an many more negative behaviors. “When a child who has experienced abuse or neglect has few protective factors (such as positive relationships with extended family and friends), the risk of more serious adverse outcomes increases. Risk factors that may contribute to poorer outcomes for children exposed to abuse and neglect include socio-economic disadvantage, social isolation, living in dangerous neighborhoods, large families, a caregiver with depression or alcohol or drug dependence, and whether the child has a disability” (AIFS Par.3). Other issues a child can face is social, emotional, and cognitive problems. The risk factors include depression, poor work performances, financial stress, risk for intimate patterner violence, multiple sexual partners, suicide attempts, poor academic achievement and many more behavior issues. Child abuse, neglect, and maltreatment can also cause a variety of negative effects on a child’s brain development. “All types of abuse are damaging to children—physically, emotionally, and psychologically—and can cause long-term difficulties with behavior and mental health development. Family physicians need to be aware of and alert to the indicators of child abuse and neglect so that appropriate interventions can be provided to improve outcomes for those children” (Jud Par.3).
The perpetrator of child abuse, neglect, and child maltreatment they say it is most likely a person you know such as the parent for allowing the many negative issues resulting to the act and rarely not a person you do not know such as a stranger. A perpetrator is most likely someone you let in your lives to be close to your child. According to Child Welfare “A perpetrator is a person who has been determined to have caused or knowingly allowed the maltreatment of a child. Most States define perpetrators of child abuse and neglect as parents and other caregivers (such as relatives, babysitters, and foster parents) who have harmed a child in their care. It is important to note that States define the term “caregiver” differently. Harm caused to a child by others (such as acquaintances or strangers) may not be considered child abuse but rather may be considered a criminal matter” (Child Welfare Par.1). The perpetrator for every family that experiences child abuse, neglect, and maltreatment it will be different for every case. Therefore, finding out the perpetrator will result for further investigations and effective interventions must target the problems for each family. A perpetrator of child abuse would be a person who was determined and knowingly allowed the abuse of the child such as family members, parents, caregivers, and many more.
I would expect is the typical responses by public child welfare services for child abuse, neglect, and maltreatment is for them to advocate for the child for what is the best interest or the child and for the social workers to be a hero for the child that cannot defend for themselves. I would expect for child welfare to investigate and if there are any type of abuse, neglect and maltretament the child would be removed from their home. The social worker would attempt to strengthen the family and hold the parents accountable for their actions to a minimal standard if care. Child welfare services would accommodate and provide the family with resources to lessen the risk of the abuse and strengthen the family. Most children who come in attention to child welfare services remain with their families or they would try to place them with a close family member that qualifies the child to remain there until the parents get the services needed to reunify with their children. If there is no family member the alternative would be to pace them in a foster care home. “Because of how much time foster children spend in living arrangements other than those provided by their parents, the settings in which they are placed make a difference. In general, states offer three main types of placement. Family-based care, which is preferred, consists of regular foster family care and relative (kinship) care. Children placed in family foster care may live with other foster children, but the number of unrelated foster children allowed in the home is regulated. More important, the foster parents are in most cases psychological strangers to the child. Relative foster care involves foster parents who are related to the child either biologically or through fictive kin relationships. Over the past 15 years, kinship care has become the preferred practice option, and its use has increased as a result” (NAP P.180-181).
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The interventions that might be helpful or are typically used or recommended with these issues is the family being involved with child welfare system since this system is the major system for interventions of child abuse, neglect, and maltreatment. The system provides services to not only the abused children but also for the families. This may include therapeutic, legal, community-based support, provision of basic needs, out of home care for children, or any number of other options. Child welfare services main goal is to keep the child in his or her own home only when it is a safe environment and when the child is at risk the system would develop an alternative plan as quickly as possible to keep the child from any further abuse, neglect or maltreatment from happening. The system would help provide resources and services to help the child and their families such as therapy, counseling, pharmacological approaches, and many other helpful approaches, services, and resources provided. Therapy can help in a way such as, “Therapy must be directed to reshaping the child’s perceptions and emotional responses while helping the caregivers address their own behaviors. Failure to do so can result in serious long-term consequences that range from violent behavior to dangerous risk taking to impaired domestic relationships” (Stirling P.670). Many children that are abused will suffer from not being able to cope such as other children and an approach with, “Pharmacologic approaches should be considered whenever the behaviors symptomatic of the uncontrolled stress response interfere with the child’s ongoing socialization. The evidence base for psychopharmacologic approaches to treating children and adolescents who suffer from PTSD symptoms is emerging, and although medication can often help ameliorate the stress response in youth” (Stirling P.671). In conclusion, using different services and resources provided from child welfare will help the individual with their therapeutic relationship with not only the child but as well as the family, physicians can work to educate the caregivers, helping them understand their child’s behavioral.
In conclusion, an effective prevention strategy as a macro approach perspective would be finding what intervention is right for each family situation since each family crisis is different and it would need a different approach for each case scenario. There is not a single strategy to reduce child maltreatment, but different interventions may help reduce the numbers of children being maltreatment. An intervention such as starting with the parents and having parent education programs can target parenting risk factors associated with child maltreatment. These program scan focus on improving parent-child relationships, positive behaviors, and provide parents with the tools to work against child maltreatment and reduce the risk of children being abused, neglected, and maltreated.
- Adverse Childhood Experiences. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.childtrends.org/indicators/adverse-experiences
- Effects of child abuse and neglect for children and adolescents. (2014, January 27). Retrieved from https://aifs.gov.au/cfca/publications/effects-child-abuse-and-neglect-children-and adolescents
- Jud, A., Fegert, J. M., & Finkelhor, D. (2016, June 14). On the incidence and prevalence of child maltreatment: A research agenda. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4907083/
- Nspcc. (n.d.). Signs, indicators and effects. Retrieved from https://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/child-abuse-and-neglect/neglect/signssymptoms-effects-neglect/
- Perpetrators of Child Abuse & Neglect. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/can/perpetrators/
- Read “New Directions in Child Abuse and Neglect Research” at NAP.edu. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.nap.edu/read/18331/chapter/7#180
- Stirling, J., Amaya-Jackson, L., & Amaya-Jackson, L. (2008, September 01). Understanding the Behavioral and Emotional Consequences of Child Abuse. Retrieved from https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/122/3/667
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