Safeguarding of Children (Child Protection) Level 2 (VTQ)

43 videos, 1 hour and 47 minutes

Course Content

What is Child Abuse?

Video 23 of 43
3 min 9 sec
English
English
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Comprehending Child Abuse

Child abuse refers to the misuse of power or the imposition of undue control by one individual over another within a relationship of trust. Tragically, at least one child dies from abuse every week, often at the hands of someone they know and trust.

Defining Child Abuse

The National Commission of Inquiry to Prevention of Child Abuse, Department of Health 1966, defines child abuse as actions, or lack thereof, by individuals, institutions, or processes that directly or indirectly harm children or hinder their safe and healthy development into adulthood.

Types of Child Abuse

Child abuse generally falls into four legal categories: physical, emotional, neglect, and sexual. Abuse can be the direct result of harmful actions or the failure to prevent harm. It can occur within families, institutions or communities, perpetrated by familiar individuals or, rarely, strangers.

Perpetrators of Child Abuse

Abuse can be inflicted by a range of individuals, including family members, family friends, professionals, peers, online contacts, or institutions such as schools or hospitals.

Recognising Potential Abuse

Key features suggesting potential abuse include imposing developmentally inappropriate expectations on a child, overprotection, denying normal social interactions, severe bullying, and exploitation or corruption of children.

Indicators of Child Abuse

Signs of abuse are categorised into four main areas:

  • Physical indicators: Observable aspects of the child's appearance
  • Behavioural indicators: Changes in the child's actions
  • Social and family indicators: Sources of stress
  • Parental indicators: Reactions when concerns are raised

For disabled children, abuse indicators can include forced feeding, unjustified or excessive physical restraint, extreme behaviour modification, and deprivation or misuse of essentials.

Symptoms of Abuse

Various symptoms, often appearing in clusters, can signal abuse. These include stress, behaviour changes, inappropriate play, self-destructive behaviour, problems with eating or sleeping, pseudo-maturity, depression or withdrawal, and issues at school.

Failures in Child Protection

Child protection often fails when abuse is not recognised, communication breaks down, or policies and procedures are not followed.