Child Abuse and Neglect Caldwell County Department of Social Services Children have the right to be safe! Adults have the responsibility to ensure this basic right for children.
To report child abuse and neglect you need to know: • • What is abuse/neglect? How to identify it. Why, when and how to make a report. What happens next?
The Law Abuse North Carolina General Statute 7 B-101(1) Neglect North Carolina General Statute 7 B-101(15) Dependency North Carolina General Statute 7 B-101(9)
An Abused Juvenile, as defined in General Statute 7 B -101(1), is a child whose parent, guardian, custodian or caretaker does any of the following: • Inflicts or allows to be inflicted on the juvenile a serious physical injury by other than accidental means; or • Creates or allows to be created by other than accidental means a substantial risk of serious physical injury to the juvenile; or • Uses or allows to be used upon the juvenile cruel or grossly inappropriate procedures or cruel or grossly inappropriate devices to modify behavior; or
Commits, permits, or encourages the commission of a violation of the following laws by, with, or upon the juvenile: first degree rape, second degree rape, first degree sexual offense, second degree sexual offense, sexual act by a custodian, crime against nature, incest, preparation of obscene photographs, slides, or motion pictures of the juvenile, employing or permitting the juvenile to assist in a violation of the obscenity laws, dissemination of obscene material to the juvenile, displaying or disseminating material harmful to the juvenile, first and second degree sexual exploitation of the juvenile, promoting the prostitution of the juvenile, taking indecent liberties with the juvenile; or Creates or allows to be created serious emotional damage to the juvenile. Serious emotional damage is evidenced by a juvenile’s severe anxiety, depression, withdrawal or aggressive behavior toward himself or others; or Encourages, directs or approves of delinquent acts involving moral turpitude committed by the juvenile.
Identifying Child Abuse and Neglect Signs of possible Physical Abuse: • • • unexplained bruises in various stages of healing self-destructive behaviors welts, human bite marks unexplained burns, especially cigarette burns unexplained fractures, injuries or abrasions nervous, hyperactive, aggressive, disruptive, and destructive behaviors unusually wary of physical contact unduly frightened of parent or caretaker expresses little or no emotion when hurt unduly shy, withdrawn and passive injuries inconsistent with the child’s age injuries inconsistent with the explanation
Signs of possible Sexual Abuse: • Engages in ongoing sexual activity that is not appropriate for the child’s age • has detailed and sophisticated understanding of sexual behaviors • regress to such behaviors as bed-wetting, speech loss, etc. • suffers sleep disturbances or nightmares • pain, itching, bruising or bleeding in genitalia • venereal disease • frequent urinary tract or yeast infections
The sexually abused older child may: • • Exhibit delinquent or aggressive behavior show signs of depression act out sexually display self injurious behaviors such as: substance abuse, self mutilation, attempts at suicide, prostitution and running away
A Neglected Juvenile, as defined in General Statute 7 B-101(15), is one who: • Does not receive proper care, supervision or discipline from his parent, guardian, custodian or caretaker. • Has been abandoned • Is not provided necessary medical or remedial care. • Lives in an environment injurious to his welfare, or • Has been placed for care or adoption in violation of the law
A Dependent Juvenile, as defined by General Statute 7 B-101(9), is a juvenile in need of assistance or placement because: • He has no parent, guardian or custodian responsible for his care or supervision; or • His parent, guardian or custodian is unable to provide for his care or supervision due to physical or mental incapacity and the absence of an appropriate alternative care arrangement.
Signs of Possible Neglect: • • Abandonment by parent or caretaker unattended medical needs consistent lack of supervision consistent hunger, inappropriate dress, poor hygiene indiscriminate with his or her affection pale, listless, begs or steal food falls asleep in class, regularly displays fatigue self- destructive
How to make a report. 426 -8257 or 426 -8200 (it takes MORE than 5 minutes) • Name, address and age of the child • Name of the child’s parent, guardian or caretaker • Child’s condition, including the nature and extent of the injury • Any information regarding the presence of weapons in the home, alcohol/drug abuse or other factors affecting a social workers safety • After hours, weekends and holidays, you may call the Caldwell County Sheriffs Department 758 -2324. • A social worker is always on call 24 hours a day 365 days a year
What happens after a report is made? Unsubstantiated 24 hours Parenting Classes Counseling 72 hours Court Petition Group Home
Who should report suspected child abuse and neglect? Any person or institution who has cause to suspect that a child is being abused or neglected is required by law to report. GS 7 B-301
You can help by: • Listening carefully to what the child is saying • Telling the child you believe them • Telling the child the abuse was not their fault • Letting the child know you will make a report to help stop abuse
You will not be helping the child if you: • Make promises you can not keep, such as promising that you will not tell anyone • Push the child into giving details of the abuse • Ask direct questions of the child • Discuss what the child told you with others who are not directly involved in helping the child
Discipline or Abuse? • Discipline- Helps the child learn a lesson that will carry over and positively affect future behavior. • Abuse- Affects the child’s behavior in ways that become increasingly less desirable to the parents.
The purpose of discipline is to help children to achieve for themselves and to feel proud when they do what is right. Explain and stick to it!!! • Explain the rules to your child. Make sure he understands. Tell your child exactly what you expect him to do or not to do. • Ask your child to repeat what you said. • Explain what will happen if the child breaks the rules. Follow through! • Change the rules when necessary. As your child gets older, some of your rules should be evaluated to encompass more responsibilities. • Make sure the limit is really necessary. Too many rules are hard for children to understand give children too much to remember. Concentrate on the really important behaviors.
Caldwell County Department of Social Services Children’s Services Statistics Calendar Year 2008 • 1, 033 total reports were made to DSS involving 1, 682 children. 125 reports were substantiated or found to be in need of further services. • Of the cases substantiated/in need of services, 1 was physical abuse, 3 sexual abuse, 115 neglect, and 6 dependant. • In another 181 cases, services were recommended. • 69 children were taken into DSS custody.