Child abuse refers to the child maltreatment by parents, adults or caretakers that cause emotional or physical harm to the child. Child abuse is divided into five major areas which include neglect, the witnessing of family violence, emotional maltreatment, physical and sexual abuse (Holt, Kitcmann & Kenny, 2013). Due to increased child abuse in Australia, there is a need for consideration and reflection on the ways to ensure that children are protected from child abuse. The essay explores a nursing care model for ensuring that children in Australia are protected from all the forms of child abuse. Additionally, it creates connections between the nurse, the child and their surroundings to ensure strict measures are put in place in protection of the child.
Understanding Child Abuse
Neglect is a common form of child Abuse in Australia. It is a situation where the caregiver or the parents fails to provide for the child the basic needs. Forms of neglect can be educational, emotional, environmental and physical neglect (Christoffel, Scheidt,Agran,McLoughlin & Paulson, 2012). Educational neglect is where the parent fails to provide the appropriate education for the child. In physical neglect the parents’ fail to provide the basic needs such as food, shelter and clothing. The parents are also supposed to ensure that the environment is safe with the required resources and opportunities.
The caregiver or the parent is supposed to give encouragement, warmth and support failing to provide is a form of child abuse. Health care is an important aspect in ensuring that the child does not feel neglected. Children are supposed to be provided with proper health care and a balanced diet to foster good health (McGlade, 2012). Physical abuse depends on the age and the nature of the behavior. Physical abuse results in causing harm to the child either intentionally or unintentionally. Physical abuse behaviors include shoving, slapping, throwing, poisoning, burning, strangling and kicking biting (Dubowitz, Pitts & Black, 2012).
Psychological abuse sometimes referred to as emotional abuse is on the rise in Australia. In emotional abuse, the parent fails to provide adequate non-physical nurture. As a result, the child grows up with low self-esteem and develops an anti-social behavior. The parent may fail to acknowledge the child’s worth thus, failing to meet the child’s needs. Additionally, psychological abuse occurs when a child isolates the child from normal social gathering. The child lacks the opportunity to make new friends making him or her believe that she is staying in her world. The caregiver may also create an environment of fear making the child believe that the world is a hostile place. Ignoring the child stimulates low intellectual development and stifling emotional growth (McGlade, 2012).
Sexual abuse is considered as a form of child abuse. Situations such as rape of a child below ten years old are considered as a serious offence. The use of a child by an adult to gratify sexual urge is common crime in Australia. Any act which exposes a child to a sexual process is considered as a form of sexual abuse for instance, involving a child below the age of 18 years in prostitution is sexual abuse. Additionally, exposing the child in pornography is a form of sexual abuse (Pullen, 2010). Witnessing family violence is also a form of child abuse. It refers to a situation in which a child is present when the parents or siblings are subjected to physical abuse. Witnessing of family violence is a form of emotional maltreatment. Exposing a child to physical violence has a great significant in their psychosocial wellbeing (Turnell, 2013). Emotional abuse affects the child inwardly and may greatly affect the wellbeing of the child if he or she does not know how to express him or herself.
After coming up with comprehensive information about the forms of child abuse, there is a need to come up with a nursing care for child abuse. The nursing care model has different stages. The first stage is the therapeutic play session (Higgins, 2011). In this session, there is the establishment of a connection between the nurse and the child. The nurse gets to know the situation the child is going through, by observing the child and analyzing all the present conditions of the child.
The second stage in the model the action stage. At this stage, the nurse understands the problems the child is facing. The nurse uses the principle of care in an expressive form. During the stage, the child is given an opportunity to express herself. If it the child has faced child abuse which lowers his or her self-esteem, at this stage, she is allowed to express herself or himself. The child is made to express a sense of love and care. At this stage, the child is allowed to express his or her goal in life and aspirations (Higgins, 2011). The nurse may allow the child to have time with other children and be involved in different ball games. Through this, the child can have new friends and socialize with them.
The last stage occurs when all the emotional needs of the child have been met. The nurse is in a position to determine whether the child’s issue has been resolved or he or she should be taken to a professional psychiatrists or psychologists. At this stage, there is a need for contextualization. Contextualization is a process in which the child is allowed to play as the nurse evaluates him or her. The nurse can observe the efficacy of the play sessions (Turnell, 2013).
The model explained above is effective because the nurse can verify how the child perceives his or her relationship with other children. The body language is also observed, which is an important aspect in analyzing improvements the child gains after the process. The nurse can keep data on observing the child and look at all verbal and non-verbal expressions of the child. During the process, the nurse can elicit a list of questions in regard to the behavior of the child and history of the child.
The model explained facilitates the interaction between the nurse and the child. The nurse is in a position to understand the thoughts and feelings of the child. Thus, in a position to offer the adequate care needed. There is a need for unconditional love between the parents and their children. The parents are supposed to express affection, care, attention and affection for their children. The model is open, dynamic and continuous process offering the child a healthier institutional experience. The model can easily be applied by nurses in their day to day practice. It also enables the nurses to come up with new ways of solving child abuse cases.
Christoffel, K. K., Scheidt, P. C., Agran, P. F., Kraus, J. F., McLoughlin, E., & Paulson, J. A. (2012). Standard definitions for childhood injury research: Excerpts of a conference report. Pediatrics, 89(6), 1027-1034.
Dubowitz, H., Pitts, S. C., & Black, M. M. (2012). Measurement of three major subtypes of child neglect. Child Maltreatment, 9(4), 344-356.
Higgins, D. J. (2011). Differentiating between child maltreatment experiences. Family Matters, 69, 50-55.
Holt, A. R., Kitzmann, K. M., , & Kenny, E. D. (2013). Child witnesses to domestic violence: A meta-analytic review. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 71(2), 339-352.
McGlade, H. (2012). Our greatest challenge: Aboriginal children and human rights. Canberra: Aboriginal Studies Press.
Pullen, K. (2010). Primary health care in Australia: the impact of organizational factors on teamwork. Australian Journal of General Practice, 59 (560): 191-197
Turnell, A., & Essex, S. (2013). Working with 'denied' child abuse: The resolutions approach. New York: McGraw-Hill.