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Protecting Children from Child Abuse
Authors: Rajeswari Natrajan with Judith A. Myers-Walls, Ph.D., CFLE

Most parents and providers want the best for children. They want to support children and help them grow into happy, healthy, and helpful people. Sometimes things go wrong, though. Sometimes parents do not give children the things they need. At other times parents do things that hurt children in some way. Some providers also hurt children or do not give them what they need.

It is very important for providers and parents to respect and trust each other. Because they are partners in caring for children, they need to work together. Sometimes they notice problems, though. Providers see parents almost every day. They see children for many hours. Providers may be the first people to notice if parents are abusing or neglecting their children. It is very difficult to deal with a situation like that.

In the same way, parents may be the first people to notice if there is a problem in childcare. They might notice that children are not getting high quality care. Many parents also would rather stay home with their children if they could. They may be nervous about leaving their children in childcare. They may have heard stories about bad situations in childcare settings. So they may look for any small problem and accuse the provider of abuse or neglect.

It is very important for both parents and providers to report child abuse and neglect if they think it is happening. It is also important to know something about the signs, though. Sometimes providers and parents just have different ways of doing things. Sometimes there are differences in culture that might be confusing.

This section includes information about recognizing child abuse and neglect and how to report. There are materials for providers to share with parents so the parents know how to deal with their concerns. There are also ideas for preventing child abuse and neglect. Several pieces give suggestions for how parents and providers can talk with each other when they are worried about the quality of care they are giving to children.

Child abuse and neglect are important problems for children, parents, professionals, and communities. Most children will not be abused, though. The hope is that this Web site will help parents and providers recognize abuse and neglect and report them when they see them. The larger hope is that the readers of this material can help lower the levels of abuse and neglect and help providers and parents trust each other to give children high quality care.

Go to:
  • Communicating with parents about parenting quality
           • Making childcare safe for children and providers

For more information, contact Judith A. Myers-Walls, PhD, CFLE at

Please feel free to link to, print off, redistribute, or reprint
  any of these materials as long as the original credits remain intact.

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