Child Neglect and Abuse Discussion

Discussion Board Forum 1 COLLAPSE The State of Missouri (2020) defines child abuse and neglect as non-accidental physical injury by those who are responsible for the child’s care and those responsible for care failing to provide support such as education, medical, nutritional, or any other means for a child well-being. Included also in abuse is, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and abandonment.

Victims of sex trafficking or sever forms of trafficking are also considered victims of abuse and neglect by Missouri law. Child abuse is not always obvious, but commons signs include: being excessively withdrawn, fearful, having extreme behavior, appears weary of adult contact, does not attach to a parent or guardian, maintains frequent injuries, is always on alert, shies away from touch or excessively flinches, wears inappropriate clothing to cover injuries such as winter clothes in the summertime, appears to have a poor self-concept, or responds to questions in monosyllables.

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Neglect signs may be: wearing filthy or unfitting clothes, having bad hygiene, untreated injuries and illnesses, frequently unsupervised, or is frequently late or missing from school. In the State of Missouri Physicians, Medical Examiners, Coroners, dentists, Chiropractors, Optometrists, Podiatrists, Medical residents and interns, Nurses, hospital or Clinical Personnel, any health practitioner, day care centers, Juvenile Officers, jail or detention personnel, Teachers, Principals and school officials, Ministers, Peace Officers, Others responsible for care of children, and community service volunteer regarding family crisis, are mandated to report child abuse and neglect and must do so immediately if identified reasonable cause.

The process for filing that report is calling the state Child Abuse/Neglect Hotline. After reporting one must be available for a follow-up phone call within the next few hours. It is important to address the abuse/neglect hastily for evidence as bruises or other injuries may fade rapidly. Also, participating in a screening to help determine if child abuse or neglect is adequately suspected is required. Failing to report suspected child abuse/neglect is a class A misdemeanor for any person required to report under law.

Falsely reporting is also considered a class A misdemeanor. “Social support plays a significant role in mediating and moderating some long term consequences of childhood maltreatment” (Sperry & Widom, 2015). Being aware and quickly reacting to situations of abuse or neglect may be detrimental to the recovery, intervention, and prevention of abuse and future psychological problems.

References: Missouri Department of Social Services. (2020). Children’s Division: Guidelines for Mandated Reporters of Child Abuse and Neglect. Jefferson City, MO  https://dss.mo.gov/cd/pdf/guidelines_can_reports.pdf  Sperry. M. D., Widom. S. C. (2015).

Child abuse and neglect, social support, and psychopathology in adulthood: A prospective investigation. Vol. 47 p. 175-176  https://www-sciencedirect-com.ezproxy.liberty.edu/science/article/pii/S0145213413000343 Please stay within the guidelines of 250 to 300 words, not including the reference.

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