How an Educator Might Recognize and Respond to Child Abuse?

How an educator might recognize and respond to child abuse?

      Childhood educators spend extensive amounts of time with children, so they are often the first adults to notice signs that a child may be abused or neglected. All educators are required by law to report suspected maltreatment, and can play an important role in preventing and responding to abuse and neglect of children.   Childhood educators, have an ethical and legal obligation to take action and report suspected abuse and neglect. Therefore, it is important to know and be able to recognize signs of maltreatment.

        Indications of and reactions to child abuse differ depending on the individual child and the circumstance.   However, there are some signs that frequently accompany each type of abuse and neglect.   Physical signs of maltreatment are those that are readily observable. They may be mild or severe, such as numerous, deep bruises or broken bones, or more subtle, such as malnutrition or the wearing of inappropriate clothing (e.g., a lack of warm clothing in winter).   Behavioural indicators may exist independently or may accompany physical indicators. Children who have witnessed family violence also may demonstrate this through their behaviour. There might be subtle clues, such as the educator's intuitive or "gut feeling" that something is wrong. There might be sexual behaviours in children indicating sexual knowledge not ordinarily possessed by children. Being victimized by abuse also may result in inappropriate behaviour, such as sexual or physical aggression toward younger children. Educators are in an excellent position to notice behavioural indicators. As trained observers, they are sensitive to the range of behaviours exhibited by children at various developmental stages, and they are quick to notice behaviours that fall outside this range. Teachers also can talk with a child's previous teacher to note any major changes in his or her behaviour.   Abused and neglected...