Child maltreatment, more commonly referred to as child abuse is a far-reaching problem in the United States of America. Child maltreatment includes single acts and series of acts. These can be overt acts of violence along with child neglect. A parent or another related or non-related person can commit these crimes. According to official statics for the year 2011 as reported by local, state and federal Child Protective Services (CPS), there were about 3.7 million referrals of child abuse or neglect. Those reports indicated 681,000 were mistreated. That is 9.1 per 1,000 children throughout the population. . This covered a range of forms of maltreatment including:
- Neglect 79%
- Physical Abuse 18%
- Sexual Abuse 9%
- Other; Including Threatened, Parental Drug or Alcohol Abuse and Lack of Supervision 10%
As bleak as the situation is, the real problem may be even greater and other; Non-CPS studies indicate 1 in 7 U.S. children some type of abuse in their lifetimes. These offenders harm their victims by acute and long-term injuries. In the worst cases the children die, this happened to an estimated 1,750 child victims in 2011. .
I selected The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as my data source for a number of reasons:
- They are an official United States government resource so I knew the data would be reliable
- They compile data on the topic I chose
- They list current statistics on the offenses
- They list current statistics on the repercussions
- They provide resources for the victims
- They provide resources for the victims’ families
The basic goals of my proposed program includes services to crime victims and their families. Depending on the type of abuse, the abused child may need immediate acute medical care, immediate intensive counseling and long-term counseling and support. The support and counseling needs do not stop there; family members, friends, and community members may also need counseling and support as well. .
The first thing that an abuse victim needs is a safe stable environment. The child needs to feel in control so that he or she can feel confident that it will not happen again. Once the situation stabilizes and the child is secure, additional services provide the remedial care needed to prevent long-term repercussions. . Different counseling modalities are available and the appropriate care varies depending on the child’s needs and age. Play therapy is most effective with children under eleven years of age. This consists of a therapist interacting with a child by using toys and games. Dolls, action figures and dollhouses let the child work out any remaining feelings about their abusers and the abuse they experienced. Older children may benefit more through art and talk therapy. Because child abuse victims often present seemingly unrelated symptoms such as eating disorders, depression and sleep disorders these also need individual treatment both for the disorder itself and in the context of its relationship to the underlying child abuse.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention established that Safe, Stable and Nurturing Relationships (SSNRs) between Children and Adults are the best way to prevent as well as help children recover from mistreatment. These healthy relationships protect children from mistreatment and let children develop physical, emotional, social, behavioral, and intellectual capacities. .
Healthy caregiver and child relationships come from parental skills and the social contest. Effective parenting programs that teach parents and caregivers appropriate physical and emotional care. They also teach parents how to deal with their children’s behavior using positive parenting and non-coercive discipline strategies. Because social context is an important factor, support services need programs that also provide social support. .
My goals are to insure each child gets the individual care needed to insure complete recovery from abuse and maltreatment. Most communities have these services available, but many do not have a central point to coordinate them so that individual children get the individualized care required to address their needs. My program services would provide these young victims and their families with a central point to go to so they can receive all the care they need.
CDC. (2014). Child Maltreatment - Facts at a Glance. Retrieved from CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/cm-data-sheet--2013.pdf
CDC. (2014). Strategic Direction for Child Maltreatment Prevention. Retrieved from CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/ViolencePrevention/pdf/CM_Strategic_Direction--Long-a.pdf
Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (2014). Child Maltreatment Prevention. Retrieved from Center for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/ViolencePrevention/childmaltreatment/index.html
Emory University General Libraries . (2014). Selected Statistical Resources for SOC 554 (Causes of Crime). Retrieved from Emory University General Libraries : http://einstein.library.emory.edu/courses/soc554-00P_S07.html
Michigan State University. (2014). Criminal Justice: Data and Statistics . Retrieved from Michigan State University: http://libguides.lib.msu.edu/content.php?pid=54696&sid=407407
National Institute of Justice. (2014). Sources of Crime Data: Uniform Crime Reports and the National Incident-Based Reporting System. Retrieved from National Institute of Justice: http://www.nij.gov/topics/crime/pages/ucr-nibrs.aspx