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Chapter 13: Using Documentation for Child Abuse Suspicions 

 
Fact: Reflection: 
13-1 (Using Documentation for Child  This is such a hard topic to process. 
Abuse Suspicions)  Nonetheless, it is a topic that needs to be 
❖ Observing in groups, the observer  addressed. There are many different forms 
has a huge responsibility to fulfill in  of abuse and no abuse is the same or will 
recognizing and reporting signs of  have the same effects on a person. 
abuse or neglect  Understanding abuse, what it can look 
❖ Young children are more likely than  like, and the steps that need to be taken to 
older children to be abused or  prevent it further, is of grave importance. 
neglected   
➢ Because early years set the   
stage for all that follows,   
they hold a greater danger   
for long-term damage and   
greatest potential for   
successful intervention   
❖ Neglect: ​the withholding of basic   
survival needs   
➢ Includes physical, medical,   
educational, emotional   
requirements   
➢ More than not providing   
food, shelter, and clothing   
➢ Most prevalent form of child   
maltreatment   
■ Can cause more harm   
to development than   
any other kind of   
abuse   
❖ Healthy relationships between   
children and adults   
➢ Babbling, facial expressions,   
gestures, and words back   
and forth like a ball toss   
game   
❖ Physical Abuse: ​any non accidental   
physical injury   
➢ Caused by child’s caregiver,   
intentional or unintentional   
❖ Sexual Abuse:​ sexually explicit   
conduct with a minor   
➢ Wide range of behavior,   
including exploiatation  Abuse is not just physical. Emotional 
through prostitution or  abuse and manipulation is just as harmful. 
pornography 
❖ Emotional maltreatment: 
psychological damage from blaming, 
belittling, or rejecting 
➢ Impairs child’s emotional 
development or sense of 
self-worth 
❖ Important that all educators, in 
classrooms and homes, are 
knowledgeable of the law and 
policies for reporting abuse and/or 
neglect are in place 

13-1a (The Abusers)  Being aware of these statistics and 


❖ Parents perpetuate more than 75%  realities will only put you in a better place 
of child maltreatment   to deal with any arising situations 
➢ Teachers know and have   
ability to contact person   
causing abuse and then has   
opportunity to intervene and   
get help for child   
❖ Research shows that child   
maltreatment can result in future   
mental health problems   
➢ PTSD (child or adult),   
depression, attempted   
suicide, and alcohol-related   
activities   
❖ Child abusers fit no particular mold,   
cutting across social class, gender,   
race, and occupations.   
➢ May be victims themselves   
who resort to doing the same   
to a child based on what they   
went through   
❖ As teachers interact with children,  Report it!! 
they win the child’s trust 
➢ May be the one who prevents 
neglect or abuse from 
happening again 
➢ People who abuse children 
need help, and child needs 
protection 
■ If you don’t report it, 
you are allowing the 
abuse to continue 

13-1b (Responsibilities of Early Childhood  Teachers should be aware of the policies 


Professionals to Prevent Child Abuse)  and the programs should ensure that all 
❖ Early Childhood Programs  staff is on the same page.  
1. Employ adequate 
number of qualified 
staff  
2. Program environment 
(inside and outside) 
should be designed to 
reduce the possibility 
of private, hidden 
locations where abuse 
can occur 
3. All staff, even 
volunteers, should: 
a. Understand 
what child 
abuse is 
b. Know the 
programs 
policies 
c. Know how to 
prevent 
potential abuse 
situations in 
group settings 
d. Be aware of 
signs of 
potential abuse 
4. Centers, schools, 
homes should have 
clear policies for 
maintaining a safe, 
secure environment 
5. Programs should 
NOT institute 
“no-touch policies” to 
reduce the risk of 
abuse 
13-1c (Physical and Behavioral Indicators  Children have a keen sense for wanting to 
of Abuse)  talk about themselves and their 
❖ Indicators may give clear evidence  experiences. This can be great in situations 
of maltreatment, but also may have  where ongoing abuse is occuring. 
other explanations 
❖ Reasonable Cause to Suspect 
➢ Suspicion of abuse or neglect 
can come from visual 
observations, disclosures 
❖ The Child’s Appearance 
➢ Infants: Abuse and 
maltreatment can be 
observed in normal routines 
of being with the child 
■ Not enough caloric 
intake for growth 
■ Bruises, cuts, and 
inflammation 
■ Disclosure: a 
statement that 
indicates the speaker 
has been a victim of 
abuse or 
maltreatment 
❖ Behavior Indicators 
➢ Beginning language is 
delayed 
❖ The Child’s Description or 
Disclosure 
➢ “My mommy twisted my 
arm”, “Uncle John hurt me 
in my goo goo” 
➢ Important to maintain 
composure so that facial or 
verbal expressions do not 
reveal, shock, revulsion, or 
disapproval of what 
happened to the child 
■ Appropriate response: 
“Would you like to 
tell me more?” 
❖ Circumstantial Evidence 
➢ Children’s explanations are 
often protective statements 
13-1d (Teachers as Reporters)  Teachers are mandated reporters. Know 
❖ More likely to report physical abuse  this and know your responsibilities 
than emotional abuse or neglect 
❖ Tend to delay reporting until they 
feel they have sufficient evidence 
❖ Lower socioeconomic groups are 
more likely to be reported 
❖ Male teachers less tolerant of abuse 
and neglect, and report more 
frequently 

13-1e (Recording Any Indicators of   


Maltreatment) 
❖ Most appropriate method for 
recording episodes is A.R. 
➢ Written shortly after the 
episode or event occurs 
➢ Contain a detailed account, 
including date and time 

13-1f (Next Steps)  Even if there were no legal ramifications 


❖ Immediate notification is first step  for not reporting, it is just the ethical, 
❖ Child abuse hotline called  natural inclination to help others. 
immediately  Especially children who can’t help 
❖ Legal Process of Reporting  themselves 
➢ Every state has laws for 
reporting and a reporting 
number 
➢ School personnel and 
child-care workers are 
mandated reporters by law 
in every state 
■ Not reporting could 
result in legal action 

13-1g (Diversity and Child Abuse)  I come from a family who believes and 
❖ Sensitivity to cultures whose values  enforces spanking. I do not consider it 
and customs are different from  abuse but understand how it can be 
one’s own is an important trait  deemed as so. Evaluate the culture before 
❖ Child-rearing varies across cultures   judging. 
❖ Children with developmental 
disabilities are also victims of abuse 
➢ Often perceived as an easy 
target 
❖ Keep your immediate notes, copy of 
report, and log of follow-up in 
secure place. Ensure it is 
confidential. Place in portfolio 
❖ Do not use photographs of child’s 
body or record interview with child 

13-2 (Looking at Self-Concept)  Looking at home factors is important 


❖ Root of social, academic, and  before thinking that the child is just not 
personal success  intelligent in a specific area. 
❖ Child maltreatment results in 
harmful effects on all areas of 
development, especially emotional 
domain 
❖ When children under 5 are abused, 
they learn to be hyper-vigilant 
➢ Internalize the fault of abuse 
on themselves 

13-2a (Development of Self Concept)  Children are beyond observant!! They see 
❖ Children understand that the self is  someone doing something and want to do 
permanent even though they grow  the same in their own way. 
older and taller 
❖ The First Year 
➢ Newborn is not aware of 
separateness from the 
environment 
■ Knowledge of 
separateness is 
attained at end of first 
year 
❖ Second Year 
➢ After walking, toddler 
practices becoming more 
separate physically 
❖ Older Preschoolers 
➢ Begin to remember dreams 
➢ Teachers words are carefully 
weighed against what they 
know they really can do 
❖ Early School-Agers 
➢ Begin to see self as others 
see them and internalizing 
rules for behavior based on 
how others will react to 
them rather than on 
punishment 

13-3 (Looking at Self-Esteem)   


❖ Early school age= comparisons to 
others and internalization of what 
other people think is very important 
➢ Self-esteem is fragile 
❖ Humans are social and crave 
approval 
➢ One’s ability to function 
mentally affects not only 
educational achievements but 
also life’s decision making 

13-3a (The Origins of Self Esteem)   


❖ Self-esteem: the valuing of 
knowledge based on self and social 
comparisons 
➢ Almost half of how child’s 
self-esteem lays out can be 
attributed to genetic factors 
➢ Teachers of young children 
can observe this self-esteem 
quite quickly through 
observation and assist 
children in finding strategies 
to work themselves out of 
the negativity that paralyzes 
their ability to be socially 
competent 

13-3b (Self-Esteem High/Low, Helpful or  Everyone’s self esteem is affected by 
Not?)  different situations. It’s like a snowflake 
❖ First three years have an immense 
impact on the working models of 
self and what factors constitute 
high or low self-esteem 
❖ Image of self is important to 
everyone, for it directly affects the 
motivation to change and learn 
❖ Private rather than public praise is 
even more effective in raising 
self-esteem and directly positively 
affecting learning 
13-3c (Families and Schools that Build  Any interaction the child has can elevate 
Self-Esteem)  or descend a child’s self-esteem. Important 
❖ More likely that academic  to choose our words as carefully as we can.  
achievement is the cause of high 
self-esteem instead 
❖ When children are motivated to 
learn for the sake of learning, 
setting goals and challenging 
themselves, achievement is more 
likely 
❖ Socialization of the family toward 
competency sets the course of the 
path 
❖ Children need to build a sense of 
competency, to have an 
environment with experiences that 
develop real skills in the cognitive, 
physical, social, and emotional 
realms 

13-3d (Sex-Role Identity and Self-Esteem)  Knowing these distinctions will better 
❖ Sex: physical attributes that denote  prepare you for child and parent 
male and female  interactions. The more you know the 
❖ Sex-role: socialized preference of  better.  
behavior identified with one gender 
or the other 
❖ Gender-identity: biological, 
male-female orientation 
❖ Gender: general term for the social 
and cultural constructions of sexual 
identity 
➢ Acceptance, power and 
control, moral virtue, 
competence 
❖ Children’s understanding of human 
sexuality develops in stages 
➢ Preschoolers are keen 
observers, and sexual 
behavior and attitudes they 
see at home an on television 
play out in the classroom 
❖ More issues for girls than bodys 
➢ Stereotyping makes girls 
seem like the weaker sex 
13-3e (Racial/Ethnic Identity and  Embrace all differences across any board. 
Self-Esteem)  Be sensitive and kind. As simple as that. 
❖ Self-concept and self-esteem are 
closely related to racial and ethnic 
identity when the child comes to 
realize that there are differences in 
the physical appearances of people 
such as skin color and hair type and 
color 
➢ Only natural for them to look 
at each other and compare 
and contrast 
❖ Observation of racial awareness 
should: 
➢ Be addressed right away 
➢ Not ignored 
➢ Subject not changed 
➢ Answered directly 

13-4 (Observing Self-Concept and   


Self-Esteem) 
❖ All areas of human development 
contribute to self-concept and 
self-esteem 
❖ Formation of concept of self is 
highly variable in different cultures 

13-4a (Self-Esteem Revealed in  There are several aspects and factors that 
Developmental Domains)  tie into how a child views themselves. 
❖ Child’s self-concept is observed  Consider all these and more. Reflective 
while assessing each child’s  journals could aid in this 
developmental areas 
➢ Child’s culture should be 
considered before judgments 
are made 
❖ Separation 
➢ Child has sense of belonging 
and trust in the adult 
❖ Self-Care 
➢ Child will be capable and 
competent and will want to 
do things independently 
❖ Physical 
➢ Child’s reactions when 
attempts are successful or 
unsuccessful give clues of 
self-esteem 
❖ Social 
➢ Self-esteem can be 
heightened when classroom 
activities promote prosocial 
behaviors 
❖ Emotional 
➢ Self-esteem resides in the 
emotional realm 
➢ Care must be taken not to 
misinterpret a more quiet, 
introspective person as one 
with low self-esteem 
❖ Speech and Language 
➢ These children need to find 
other areas in classroom 
which to feel competent; 
then language attempts will 
not be so much of a risk to 
self-esteem 

13-4b (Why not Ask?)   


❖ The most logical thing to do is ask 
someone who is most likely to know 
❖ “What can you tell me about 
yourself? Why is that important?” 

13-5 (Helping all Children with  This is ridiculous, but sadly, not 
Self-Esteem)  surprising. My hope is that the next 
❖ Children from low socioeconomic  generation of teachers are more 
backgrounds as well as ethnic  considerate and less discriminatory. 
minority children more often receive 
negative feedback from teacher, 
resulting in low academic 
self-esteem and achievement 

13-5a (Culture, Race, and Self-Esteem)   


❖ Expectations of competence and 
styles of interpersonal relations 
vary between cultures 
➢ Child who refused to 
participate in a holiday event 
may not be antisocial but 
rather acting according to a 
religious tradition 

13-5b (Disabilities and Self-Esteem)   


❖ When disabilities interfere with a 
child’s functioning while included in 
a regular classroom, self-concept 
and self-esteem issues arise 
❖ Children with normal abilities in an 
inclusive classroom become very 
aware of differences when they 
compare themselves to other 
children 

13-5c (Child Maltreatment and   


Self-Esteem) 
❖ Children who have been abused 
often suffer from emotional 
difficulties, the psychological 
consequences of depression, 
personality and anxiety disorders, 
and social issues such as aggression 
❖ These are sensitive, yet vitally 
important, issues to young 
children’s self-concept and 
self-esteem. They are challenging. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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