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Child Abuse Prevention and Reporting Plan

Eden Whitehead

Brigham Young University-Idaho


1) There are five types of child abuse:

• Physical Abuse: where a child is injured non-accidentally. Warning signs of physical

abuse include unusual or repetitive burn marks, linear marks on the body, bruises in

multiple stages of healing, and lacerations on multiple parts of the body (Click, Karkos,

& Robertson, 2014).

• Physical Neglect: when a child is not provided with adequate necessary care. Warning

signs of physical neglect can include unsanitary conditions in the home, inadequate

nutrition, improper clothing for the weather, or a lack of proper medical care (Click et al.,


• Emotional Abuse: when a child experiences excessive or continuous verbal assault,

negative response, or family discord. Warning signs of emotional abuse can include

apathy in the child, disruptive behavior, perfectionism, or attention seeking behavior

(Click et al., 2014).

• Emotional Deprivation: when parents fail to do that which is necessary to help a child

feel loved, wanted, and secure. Warnings signs of emotional deprivation include the child

refusing food, the child being unable to do typical developmental tasks, exaggerated

fears, and antisocial behavior (Click et al., 2014).

• Sexual Abuse: when there is any sexual activity between a child and an adult. Warning

signs of sexual abuse can include bruising around the genitals, a child showing unusual

awareness of sexual activities, blood or discharge in the underwear, or fear of certain

adults in their lives (Click et al., 2014).


2) In Alberta, Canada, child abuse is defined as, “any act of maltreatment of a child by a parent

or guardian that results in injury or harm” (Government of Canada, 2017, par. 1). In Alberta,

everyone is encouraged to report signs of child abuse (Government of Canada, 2017).

3) There are specific circumstances under which abuse is more likely to occur. Some of these


• When parents were abused as children themselves (Click et al., 2014). If parents don’t

have appropriate ideas or references on how to treat children, they may lack the

knowledge on how to healthily discipline and rear their own children.

• When parents are isolated from the community or their family (Click et al., 2014). When

parents feel alone, stress builds up at an alarming rate. It becomes harder to control

negative emotions when you feel like you are the only one you can rely on.

• When parents use drugs or are alcoholics (Click et al., 2014). Drugs and alcohol impair

judgement. Parents may be more likely to harm their children when their judgement is


• When parents have low self-esteem (Click et al., 2014). Parents may try to make

themselves feel more powerful by exerting dominance over their children in unhealthy


• When parents have unrealistic expectations about children’s behaviors (Click et al.,

2014). If parents are uneducated about what is developmentally appropriate for children,

they may place heavy strain on their children to perform and become irritated when

children do not meet these expectations.

4) Program administrators can help alleviate stressors that may lead to parents abusing their

children in some of the following ways:


• Educating parents about child development and what is normal and appropriate for the

various ages and stages of childhood (Click et al., 2014).

• Model for parents how to appropriately and effectively interact with their children both in

play and in discipline techniques (Click et al., 2014).

• Create a parent support group where parents can meet with each other, and child care is

provided, so they can be away from their children for a short time and connect with

others who may be experiencing similar stressors.

• Help connect parents with community resources for families that might provide families

with temporal necessities like adequate food and clothing.

5) In order to assist my staff in being able to identify, process, and report child abuse, I will

employ the following step by step plan.

• First, I will ensure that my staff members know and are trained in the warning signs of

child abuse. This training will be provided free of charge to staff by the administrator

and will come from reputable sources such as the Darkness to Light program, or other

similar entities. These trainings will happen on a periodic basis so that staff can always

be refreshed on knowing how to spot abuse in children.

• Second, when abuse is suspected in any way, the staff will know to immediately notify

the program administrator. Together the program administrator and staff member will

document and report the suspected abuse. This will be done to ensure the staff member

feels supported in this decision, and that the program administrator is aware of all the

safety concerns of the children in the program.

• Third, the abuse will be reported to the Northern Alberta Child Intervention Services or

Southern Alberta Child Intervention Services (Government of Alberta, 2017). This


reporting will occur the same day that the abuse is suspected to ensure the safety of the



Government of Alberta, Alberta Human Services. (2017). Child abuse. Retrieved from

Click, P., Karkos, K., & Robertson, C. (2014). Administration of programs for young children

(Ninth ed.). Stamford, CT, USA: Cengage Learning