Department of Human Services

Families First Online Policy Manual

Protection of Children

Revised:

38.3

CONDITIONS OF A PARENT INDICATING POSSIBLE ABUSE/NEGLECT OF CHILDREN

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The information has been provided from the Child Protective Services manual for the caseworker to use in evaluating whether child abuse/neglect might exist and/or whether a referral to Department of Children’s Services for further evaluation is in order.

 

·        Isolation from family supports such as relatives, friends, neighbors, and community groups.

 

·        Appearance of trusting no one.

 

·        Reluctance to give information about the child’s condition or injuries.  Unable to offer an explanation or the explanation is far-fetched, contradictory, or plausible but unlikely.

 

·        Responds inappropriately to the seriousness of the child’s condition either by overreacting (hostile or antagonistic) or by under-reacting (exhibiting little concern or awareness and seeming more preoccupied with their own problems).

 

·        Refusal to consent to diagnostic studies of the child.

 

·        Failure or delay in taking the child for medical care for routine checkups, optometric or dental care or for treatment of injuries or illness.

 

·        Overly critical of the child and seldom, if ever, discusses the child in positive terms.

 

·        Unrealistic expectation of the child, expecting or demanding behavior that is beyond the child’s years of ability.

 

·        Belief in the necessity of harsh punishment for children.

 

·        Seldom touches or looks at the child; ignores the child’s crying or reacts with impatience.

 

·        Keeps the child confined, perhaps in a crib or playpen, for overlong periods of time.

 

·        Seems to lack understanding of child’s physical, emotional and psychological needs.

 

·        Appears to be misusing alcohol or drugs.

 

·        Cannot be located.

 

·        Appears to lack control, or fears losing control, of children or self.

 

·        Lacks knowledge of parenting skills.

 

·        Appears to be borderline in intelligence, psychotic or psychopathic.

 

·        Exhibits generally irrational behavior.

 

·        Gives child inappropriate food, drink or medication.

 

The above lists are not all-inclusive, but are some indicator that conditions are conducive to abuse/neglect.  As in any situation involving human beings, a particular observable condition must be viewed in relation to other conditions existing in a family.  However, if a child and his parent both exhibit any one of the listed conditions, a referral will be made to the Department of Children’s Services for the protection of the child.

 

Glossary

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