As a child care provider, you have a lot of opportunities to get to know the children’s families well. Some parents will talk to you informally during drop-off and pick-up times. Parent conferences and other scheduled events give you a chance to interact one-on-one with the parents. At times, some parents might approach you for advice or suggestions about issues related to their child. Other parents might share information about changes in their family life with you. Also, children love to talk about their families. They like to share information about what goes on at home, with you and with the other children. Most of the times, you learn a lot about the parents simply by observing how they interact with their children. You will be able to recognize potential situations of child abuse simply by being attentive. Conversations with the parents will also give you clues about how the parent feels about their child.
The presence of child
abuse or neglect may be indicated if the parent
It is important to keep in mind that one or two incidents of the above examples do not indicate child abuse. Child abuse may happen when a parent continuously displays such behavior towards the child.
When you know the child and the family well, you are in a better position to decide if there is a situation of child abuse. The more you observe the family and interact with the parents, the better you will be able to decide if the problem is child abuse or something else. You will need to decide if the problem is temporary or permanent. Be cautious and careful in making such decisions.
Remember that as a child care provider,
you do not need to prove that a child is being abused before reporting
abuse to the appropriate authorities. All you need to
have is a reasonable suspicion that a child is being abused. If you have
worries, you should report to Child Protective Services (CPS). They have
a 24-hour, 7-days-a-week hotline: 1-800-800-5556. Check your phone book
for a local number if you cannot connect to the hotline. You can also
report to Prevent Child Abuse Indiana at (317)-634-9282 or 1-800-244-5373.
For more information, contact Judith A. Myers-Walls, PhD, CFLE at firstname.lastname@example.org
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