Child maltreatment is, unfortunately, a reality for many years now. A child can be abused in more ways than one and nothing can be more damaging to a child’s psychological development than when the child is abused, either emotionally, psychically, sexually or forced to work. In order to prevent child abuse, it is essential one learns to identify the signs and of course report it to one of the many relevant authorities that deal with such matters. Furthermore, it is vital that societies are well educated and alert, so as to help preventing child from being abused.
The role of education in preventing child abuse
Identifying the signs is an important step towards child abuse awareness. To begin with, child abuse is much more than an eye can see, since there are types of child abuse that don’t include violence that leaved obvious signs on a child. Emotional abuse, behaviors that low the child’s self-esteem, as well as neglect and exposing a child to any kind of possible danger are also ways to abuse a child. Also, people are generally mislead by some prevailing concepts and tend to believe that child abusers are marginalized people and is commonly seem among problematic families. However, such notion is wrong, since many child abusers are family members and well-respected people or people that face some kind of mental condition, or simply don’t know any other way to raise a child (Child Abuse and Neglect).
Listing the types of child abuse leads us to the following three: emotional, child neglect and physical child abuse. If one does not give affection to their child, make it feel worthless or ashamed, lacks the necessary as per its wellbeing, like clothing and hygiene and of course one that physically hurts a child is committing child abuse (Child Abuse and Neglect).
If someone suspects that a child is being abused, it is important to report it and not hesitate to do so. Many don’t report child abuse because they don’t want to be involved in another family’s matters out of fear that they might cause the other family serious problems, or because they don’t believe that affirmative action will take place or that the other family will know the identity of the one that reported the abuse. However, they are all just excuses and myths (Child Abuse and Neglect).
What is the role of social service for protection children from abuse?
In order to avoid and prevent child abuse, social services conduct regular visits to schools and daycare. Set aside that, they provide valuable information for parents regarding day care, like how to choose the right day care for their child, facts to consider when looking for child care providers, what to look regarding health and safety practices and how to ensure their child will have a positive experience, among others (Information for Parents).
A fruitful relationship between child care providers and families is crucial. For that reason awareness programs, like the one The National Association for the Education of Young Children has developed is more than welcomed. They have done great work trying to enhance the relationship between the two aforementioned parties, via program policies that educate parents on various topics regarding child abuse and help parents get all the help they need with a possible problem they encounter. Indicatively, social services help prevent child abuse and promote a nurturing parent-child relationship, via: helping parents trust the child care providers, who are trained professionals, deal with their stress, encourage parents take parenting classes or go on field trips and support the families when needed, like in case of an illness or job loss. That way, the child can have a smooth emotional development (childwelfare.gov 59-60).
How children can be safe?
There are support services and programs provided by numerous institutions that can educate parents, and those programs’ content lies within each sponsoring agency’s discretion. During those programs, parents learn about the developmental stages of a child, the increased responsibilities of parenting, help parents cope with the agony of how to properly raise their child and promote parent-child emotional bonds (childwelfare.gov 63)
Of course, teaching children their right is a valuable addition for every child abuse prevention campaign. Indicatively, when a child attends a child care center, they must be treated with respect both from the staff and the rest of the people involved, must be provided with safety and comfort within the facility, have the required equipment and furnishings, should not be punished in any way that will cause pain or humiliation and/or stress to the child, should not accept any kind of mental abuse and be free to perform any religious activities. Being locked in any part of the day, as a means to punish, or be placed in a restraining device of any kind is strictly forbidden (Information for Parents).
Concluding, child abuse is a huge issue burdening societies. However, there are preventing means to take and programs for parents to attend that can help educate all those involved in child care, ensuring the children’s smooth development.
Child Abuse and Neglect: Recognizing, Preventing, and Reporting Child Abuse. Last updated: May 2013. <http://www.helpguide.org/mental/child_abuse_physical_emotional_sexual_neglect.htm>
The role of Professional Child Care Providers in Preventing and Responding to Child Abuse and Neglect. <https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/usermanuals/childcare/childcare.pdf>
Part of Department of Social Services. Personal Rights. <http://www.dss.cahwnet.gov/forms/english/LIC613A.PDF>