Unit 10 Caring for Children and Young People P3 - Identifying abuse.

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Working with young people and children: identifying abuse

What is Abuse?

Abuse is when someone is treated in a way that negatively impacts them emotionally, physically, sexually, mentally or intellectually. The five types of abuse are; neglect, physical, emotional, sexual and domestic violence. In this handbook for identifying abuse the physical indicators and the behavioural indicators will be explained.

Some people are predisposed to abuse when they have also suffered abuse from someone else, somebody beaten by their parents is more likely, predisposed to beating their own children. This is a factor that should be taken into account when child abuse or maltreatment is suspected.
        Another factor that needs to be taken into account is whether the young person or child is being exploited. Are they being sexually exploited, are they being made to do unacceptable activities such as work? There are many ways in which a child can be exploited, and it is easier for those who will, to exploit a child because they are vulnerable.

The long term consequences of a child suffering abuse or maltreatment of any kind is that they are more likely to carry it on into their adult life. Children who have suffered this need a lot of care and support to be able to live as healthy a life as normal, this care and support can come in the form of therapists, doctors, social workers, foster carers…etc.

It is important to understand how different types of abuse can affect the behaviour of young people and children because it is often the behavioural indicators that alert us first. The five types of abuse are; neglect, physical, emotional, sexual and domestic violence.

Being able to identify abuse is important when your job is working with young people and children because as with every health and social care professional you have a duty of care of your service users, however young people and children are especially vulnerable and have laws that specifically protect them that were brought about because of major child abuse cases that happened in this country.

The Victoria Climbie case was massive for changing the laws around safeguarding children. Victoria was brought to our country on a false passport by an Aunt she didn’t really know on the pretence of providing Victoria with a better education than she would have got at home with her parents on the Ivory Coast. Victoria’s Aunt physically abused Victoria, starving her and scalding her, making her sleep in a bin bag in the bath tub. Victoria’s Aunt’s boyfriend physically abused Victoria by beating her with his hands, bicycle chains and other objects. Through all of this Victoria was seen by countless social workers, healthcare professionals, police officers, teachers and members of the public and still she died at the hands of those trusted to look after her.

There was an inquiry into Victoria’s death in which Lord Laming made 108 recommendations regarding the laws that were in place around safeguarding children. This case brought about the ‘Every Child Matters’ initiative, the Children Act 2004 and a government database designed to hold information on all children in England. This case also led to the creation of the Children’s Commissioner role.

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Safeguarding policies are put into place in schools and doctors and places where children attend, they are policies that aim to protect children from harm and abuse and set out what staff should do if they have concerns about a child.

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse is the act of deliberately hurting a someone by hitting, kicking, poisoning, burning, slapping, throwing objects, shaking or fabricating illness. The physical indicators of physical abuse are the injuries we can see, there are injuries that indicate different types of abuse and are differentiated by where the injuries are and how ...

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