Safeguarding the Welfare of Children and Young People Essay
Physical Abuse Physical abuse is the intentional deliberate use of physical force or violence to hurt or injure a child.
It may include slapping, punching, pulling hair, hitting, beating with objects, burning with cigarettes/cooker rings, scalding, shaking, biting, squeezing, cutting, throwing, poisoning, attempting to suffocate/drown or giving inappropriate drugs/alcohol. Some of the signs and symptoms of physical abuse are bruises in places that would not be associated with a child falling over accidentally, these may happen frequently.They maybe finger marks from being grabbed, burns these may be obvious marks from a cigarette being held against a child’s skin or obvious circular burns from a cooker ring. There may be fractures to bones or other injuries to the child that the parent are neglected and not getting then appropriate medical attention that the child needs. The child may not be able to move limbs if they are fractured or if they are badly bruised. There may be bite marks or cuts on the child or marks showing the outline of an object such as a belt that the child has been hit with.
There may be signs of a brain injury if a child has been shaken especially with babies or smaller children. They may have a torn frenulum from having things forced into their mouths. The child may have problems with weight loss and may find it difficult to gain weight; they may have bald patches on their head from having their hair pulled.
Some other more behavioural signs of physical abuse are withdrawn behaviour; a child may withdraw from physical contact and may flinch when approached or touched. They may also withdraw from close relationships.They may become more aggressive and display a lot of self-destructive behaviour.
They may become apprehensive when others cry as they associate crying with the physical abuse that they have been through. The child may refuse to discuss the injuries that they have and may be reluctant to remove any of their clothes in the summer when it’s warm or may be reluctant to get changed for PE. They may have a fear of going home or a fear of their parents/carers if the abuse is taking place at home and if it is their parent or carer abusing them.They may also be worried about their parents being approached for an explanation of their injuries as they may be worried as to what will happen to them, with their parents if they are annoyed that the child has allowed their injuries to be seen or if they were to be taken from their parents if it is the parents abusing them.
They may have a change in eating pattern- they may not be eating or they may eating more than usual and are comfort eating. A child may be showing frozen awareness which is a facial expression that a child may have if they have been abused.The child may be constantly looking around and be alert but are physically inactive and demonstrate a lack of trust in adults. Neglect Neglect is the persistent failure by the parents or carers to provide adequately for a child’s health, development, psychological and safety needs. It may not always be intentional by the parents. It may include not providing adequate food, shelter, water or clothes.
It may also be not providing adequate place for the child to sleep or having to share a room with another sibling who does not allow them to get enough sleep.It may be not showing the child enough love and attention. It may also be not giving the child enough exercise or stimulation. They may not be provided with medical care, nutrition or hygiene routines. The child may be left alone in the house or may be left in the care of inappropriate people who are not able to ensure the child is kept safe. Signs and symptoms of neglect may be that the child is always hungry; they may be over/under weight, underweight if they are not being fed and overweight if they are not being fed properly, they may be fed a lot of unhealthy, sugary foods.They may have poor muscle tone and poor hair and skin condition because they are not given the proper nutrients and a healthy diet and not enough exercise.
They may be frequently unwell and have poor general health, they may have nappy rash, cradle cap or constantly have nits. They may be dirty and not washed; they may have dirty or inappropriate clothes for the time of year. They may be tired/ lethargic as they are not getting enough sleep and or not eating correctly. Other signs may be that the child is often late for school or nursery and have poor attendance. The child may be withdrawn and have low self-esteem and confidence.They may have an inability to form friendships and feel sad.
They may be destructive and aggressive and have neurotic behaviour where they sit and rock or twist their hair as they have nothing to stimulate them. They may have poor language skills as they are not encouraged to have conversations with their parents, they may be delayed in development in other ways as they are not encouraged to push themselves physically. They may have limited experiences as they are never have any interaction with their parents, they are never taken to the park or taken on days out.Emotional Harm Emotional harm is when a child is not praised a lot by their parents and are constantly put down and made to feel worthless and have low self-esteem and self-confidence. The child may have little or inconsistent love or warmth from their parents. The parents may reject the child and may terrorise them and make their life a misery and make them feel that all the problems are because of them. The parent may constantly shout at the child and frighten them; their parents may humiliate them or undermine them.Some signs of emotional harm may be that the child has a fear of new situations as they don’t feel confident about themselves.
They may have a delay in development both physical and emotional as they will feel they are unable to do things as they are constantly told they are rubbish and that they can’t do things so have reluctance to try anything new. The child may have speech disorders as they little opportunity to have any interaction with their parents to practice their speech other than them shouting at them.The child may have an inability to cope with making mistakes as they feel that everything they have to do has to be right to avoid being told they are useless, they may have inappropriate emotional responses to situations as they don’t know how to react properly only aggressively as that is all they are used to. They may stimulate themselves by rocking or head banging and may show a slow response to anyone trying to stimulate them. They may show signs of frozen awareness and sit silently and be very watchful of their surroundings.They may have weight loss/gain as they comfort eat or starve themselves as that is the only thing they have control over. Other signs that a child may show is a disinterest in school or anything you are trying to show them as they don’t want to try anything new and are afraid of not being able to do what you are showing them, they may also be too emotionally withdrawn.
They may throw tantrums and have a lot of attention seeking behaviour. They may also have a lot of comfort seeking behaviour too they may twiddle their hair or chew their fingers or clothing. They could be very depressed and have poor concentration.They may also be self-harming themselves to try and get a release from the abuse and to try and get some kind of control over everything.
They may not be able to have fun and enjoy themselves as they have never been encouraged to enjoy themselves s by their parents. Sexual Abuse Sexual abuse is when children are used by adults to meet their own sexual needs. It may include fondling, masturbation, oral sex, anal intercourse and sexual intercourse. It may also be exposing a child to pornographic materials or exposing them to sexual activity. It may be encouraging children to behave in a sexually inappropriate way or incest.
Signs or symptoms of sexual abuse could be injuries to the genital area, inflammation, discharge, bleeding and soreness around the genitals. Any signs of sexually transmitted diseases would be a sign that the child has been sexually abused. A child may have a fear of certain situations like having their nappy changed as that may be when the sexual abuse normally takes place.
The child may have nightmares and mood changes as they find it difficult to deal with the abuse. They may have a lot of knowledge of things that you would only expect from someone who is a lot older.They may be embarrassed of their body or their body may be bruised or scratched and may not want to undress for PE. The child may have bruises, scratches or bites to genital area, chest, neck or abdomen which would not be significant to the child falling over and would be more significant to the child been sexually abused. They may complain of soreness or discomfort. They may be withdrawn in themselves and have a low self-esteem or poor self-image.
They may act inappropriately in their ways of showing emotion and may act very mature for their age and be very flirtatious.