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Diocese of Baton Rouge


The Role of Educators in Preventing and Responding to Child Abuse and Neglect ... Indirect hints 'My babysitter keeps bothering me. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Diocese of Baton Rouge

Diocese of Baton Rouge
Dynamics of Disclosure
  • The Role of Educators in Preventing and
    Responding to Child Abuse and Neglect

Purpose and Overview
  • This presentation provides a brief overview of
    the following
  • Guiding principles of child abuse prevention
  • Educators role in recognizing abuse
  • Possible effects of abuse on children
  • Dynamics of disclosure
  • Reporting responsibilities
  • Difficulties encountered when reporting

Guiding Principles
  • Parents have a fundamental right to raise their
    children as they see fit.
  • Society presumes that parents will act in their
    childrens best interest.

  • When parents do not protect their children from
    harm or meet their basic needs, as with cases of
    child abuse and neglect, society has a
    responsibility to intervene to protect the health
    and welfare of these children.

  • Any intervention into family life on behalf of
    children must be guided by
  • Federal and State laws
  • Sound professional standards for practice

Educators Role in Recognizing Abuse
  • Dealing with child abuse and neglect is, in fact,
    a community effort.
  • Educators are in an ideal position to initiate
    this type of teamwork.

Trained Observers
  • Educators are sensitive to the range of behaviors
    exhibited by children at various developmental
  • Educators are quick to notice behaviors that fall
    outside particular developmental ranges.

  • Educators are trained to recognize and intervene
    when children are not able to benefit fully from
    their educational opportunities.
  • This training makes them uniquely qualified to
    detect indicators that may signify that a child
    is being maltreated.

  • Since schools and parish programs are some of
    the few places in which children are seen daily
    or on a regular basis, educators have a chance to
    see changes in appearance and behavior.

  • From classroom teachers to guidance counselors,
    as well as social workers, nurses, psychologists,
    and administrators, everyone becomes an integral
    part of the educational team to help children.

Impact of Abuse
  • Impact of abuse on children depends on many
  • Identity of the perpetrator
  • The amount of force or betrayal involved
  • Childs age
  • Childs individual personality
  • Duration of abuse

Physical Signs
  • Physical signs of maltreatment may be mild or
    severe (e.g. bruises, broken bones, malnutrition)

Behavioral Indicators
  • Behavioral indicators may exist independently or
    may accompany physical indicators.
  • Children who have been victimized by abuse may
    exhibit inappropriate behavior, such as sexual or
    physical aggression toward younger children.

Sexual Abuse In Particular
  • Sexual abuse is defined as inappropriate
    adolescent or adult sexual behavior with a child.
  • It includes
  • Fondling the childs genitals
  • Intercourse
  • Incest
  • Rape
  • Sodomy
  • Exhibitionism
  • Sexual exploitation
  • Exposure to pornography

  • Recognition of child maltreatment, is not based
    upon the detection of one or two clues, but
    rather on the recognition of a cluster of
    indicators that make up a composite or pattern.

  • It is important to remember that some
    indicators, both physical and behavioral, may be
    indications of something other than abuse.

Types of Disclosure
  • Direct Disclosure
  • Indirect Disclosure

Responding To A Childs Disclosure
  • One of the most important indicators of
    maltreatment is a childs disclosure. As a
    teacher, you must know what to do when the child
    comes to you with this information.

  • A child may tell you directly that he or she is
    being abused. However, this is the least common
    way for a child to let you know that something is

Disclosure Is Difficult
  • Disclosure is difficult for a child because
  • There is a sense of shame associated with the
  • There is a sense of loyalty to the abuser
  • There is a real fear of not being believed
  • There is a fear of negative consequencesto the
    child or to family members

Fear Of Consequences
  • Abusers often tell children that bad things will
    happen if they tell others about the
    maltreatment. It is a secret that is not to be
  • Whether the abuser directly threatens the child
    or just implies that there will be consequences,
    the impact on the child is the same. This fear of
    what might happen makes the disclosure that much
    more difficult for the child.

Indirect Disclosure
  • Indirect disclosure might sound like this
  • Indirect hints My babysitter keeps bothering

Disguised Disclosure
  • Disguised disclosure What would happen if a
    girl was being touched in a bad way and she told
    someone about it?

Disclosure With Strings
  • Disclosure with strings I have a problem but
    if I tell you about it, you have to promise not
    to tell.

Be Aware
  • Some victims withdraw while others express their
    conflicts with aggression

Conversations With Children
  • In all states, educators are mandated reporters
    for child maltreatment cases.

Handling Disclosure
  • Do not appear shocked-a strong reaction may
    affect the childs comfort level
  • Praise the child for revealing what has happened
  • It is not up to the educator to determine if the
    child is telling the truth

  • Refrain from asking leading questions
  • Let the child tell his/her story without probing
    for the information that the child is unwilling
    to give

  • The child should be made as comfortable as
  • Put the child at ease-do not sit behind a desk or
  • Sit next to the child

  • Do not touch the child without permission
  • Reassure the child it is not their fault
  • Do not make promises that you cannot keep

  • Assure the child that the information will not be
    shared with classmates or others who have no need
    to know

  • Tell the child it will be necessary to tell a
    helping person in order to help

Things to Remember
  • When talking to the child, use language that a
    child will understand

  • Never disparage the childs choice of language or
    supply terms

  • It is also important for the educator not to
    display feelings of anger, disgust, or
    disapproval towards the alleged abuser or the
    child for any action disclosed.

Examining Injuries
  • The educator should never insist on seeing the
    childs injuries.

  • At no time should the child be asked or forced
    to remove clothing.

Reporting Protocol
  • The Diocese of Baton Rouge has established a
    protocol for reporting abuse by a volunteer,
    member of the clergy (priest or deacon), or

Louisiana Ch. C. art. 610
  • Reports of abuse where the abuser is believed to
    be a caretaker shall be made immediately to the
    local child protection unit.

  • Reports of abuse where the abuser is believed to
    be someone other than a caretaker shall be made
    immediately to a law enforcement agency.

  • Mandated reporters must file a written report
    within 5 days of the initial oral report.

Content of ReportsStatute Ch. C. art 610
  • Name, address, age, sex and race of child
  • Nature, extent, and cause of childs injuries or
    condition, and any previous known or suspected
  • Account of how child came to reporters
    attention any explanation for childs condition
  • Any other information that might be helpful

  • Important Contact Numbers
  • Childhelp, 800-422-4453
  • LA State Police, 800-434-8007
  • Local Child Protective Services
  • Amy Cordon, Child and Youth Protection Officer,
  • Diocesan Sexual Abuse Victim Response Contact
    Line 225-242-0250
  • Diocesan Counselors at Catholic Charities,
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