Discussion: Child Maltreatment
Statistics show that children under the age of 6 are at the most risk for being abused and neglected, with children under the age of 1 having the highest rate of abuse and neglect. In addition, 84% of abusers are found to be parents (Robertson, p. 494). Anyone working with young children has a responsibility to recognize the signs and symptoms of abuse and intervene on the child’s (or children’s) behalf. Your involvement can help change the course of the child’s and family members’ lives.
Review and/or familiarize yourself with relevant information and guidelines about child maltreatment from your Learning Resources this week, including those in your text. See Tables 14-1, 14-2, 14-3, 14-4, pages 499-506 and “Reality Check: Domestic Violence and Its Effects on Children’s Lives,” pages 511-513)
By Day 3
Reflect on what you have learned about this topic this week and consider the following:
- The ethical responsibility of early childhood professionals with regard to protecting the health and well-being of young children
- The short- and long-term ramifications of child maltreatment
- Your state requirements with regard to reporting child maltreatment
Then, post a response based on the following scenario:
You are a professional working in a day care program for infants and children up to age 4. You begin to notice several signs exhibited by one of the 3-year-olds in your care that indicate possible abuse. You understand that child maltreatment is an extremely complicated situation; however, you also know it is your ethical and legal responsibility to act.
- What should you do first in order to determine whether or not you are correct in your suspicion of abuse?
- What intervention methods and strategies might you take in response to the situation?
- How could you support the child and his/her family through referrals or other means, ensuring that the child is protected throughout the process?
- What are your state’s procedures for documenting and reporting any observed maltreatment?