Child abuse and neglect are cases when an underaged individual’s physical or emotional needs are overlooked and three out of eight children in the United States are affected by this problem. Such actions cause significant harm to the individual’s mental and even physical well-being. Moreover, some cases of child abuse may result from the stress the family members experience. The topic of child abuse and neglect remains relevant because, despite the advances that humanity has made, many children in the US and globally are subjected to such unfair treatment, which adversely affects the development of children and the lives of families and parents.
In the United States, the prevalence of child abuse remains astounding. According to Kaplan, a recent survey’s results suggest that one in every eight children in the United States may endure abuse or neglect significant enough to be formally certified by the government by age 18. Hence, in a class of 24 students, that figure suggests that three of those children are presently or will be subjected to detrimental abuse or neglect by the time they reach adulthood. This is a disturbingly high number, which suggests that a large number of children in the United States are subjected to maltreatment and more has to be done to address this problem.
Child abuse and neglect are preventable issues that can be addressed by caregivers or educators if they have adequate tools and an understanding of how to recognize signs and address the issue. Child abuse and neglect can be avoided, and a variety of circumstances can enhance or lessen the likelihood of perpetrating and experiencing child abuse and neglect (CDC; Washington State Department for Children, Youth, and Families). To avoid child abuse and neglect violence, one must first recognize and address the elements that put individuals at risk of violence or protect them from it.
Educators are mandated reporters who must notify the authorities in case they witness child abuse or neglect. As CDC states, child abuse and neglect are major public health issues, as are adverse childhood experiences. These events can have long-term consequences for health, opportunity, and well-being. This topic encompasses all forms of abuse and neglect perpetrated on a child under the age of 18 by a parent, caregiver, or another person in a custodial capacity that causes harm, the potential for damage, or the danger of harm to the child (CDC). Hence, children can be subjected to abuse from any individual surrounding them, requiring caregivers, educators, and other mandated reporters to pay particular attention to their behavior.
According to WHO, it is nearly unanimously acknowledged that child abuse prevention is an essential social issue, but surprisingly little research has been conducted to assess the effectiveness of preventative treatments (70). Many international and government-led organizations have programs that aim to overcome child abuse. The majority of programs are geared toward either victims or perpetrators of child abuse and neglect (WHO 70). Few focus on basic preventive strategies aimed at avoiding child abuse and neglect in the first place, which is an issue that requires attention. WHO recommends strategies such as parenting classes, family support programs, home visitation programs, and training healthcare professionals to identify and address cases of abuse.
Family support programs are among the most effective strategies for addressing child abuse and preventing it in the first place. These programs often educate parents on child development and assist them in improving their abilities to regulate their children’s behavior (WHO 70; Child Welfare). While most of these programs are designed for use with high-risk families or families where abuse has already happened, it is increasingly thought that offering information and training in this area might benefit all parents or prospective parents. Hence, the most effective approach to preventing child abuse and neglect is developing programs that educate parents.
In summary, this paper examines the issue of child abuse and neglect and its effect on children and families. Personally, when preparing to write this essay and reading the articles, I was surprised by the number of children who suffer from abuse and neglect. Since one in every six children is a victim of abuse and neglect, more has to be done to address this problem and ensure that educators are trained to notice and handle cases of abuse and neglect.
CDC. “Preventing Child Abuse & Neglect.” CDC. Web.
Child Welfare. “Services.” Child Welfare. Web.
Kaplan. “Responding to Child Abuse and Neglect.” KAPLAN. Web.
Washington State Department for Children, Youth, and Families. “1100. Child Safety.” WSD. Web.
WHO. “Chapter 3. Child abuse and neglect by parents and other caregivers.” WHO.