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Recognizing, Reporting and Preve

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Additional Information Tips for Families For additional information prevention materials and or in service training contact your local social services department or the Virginia Department of Social Services at www dss virginia gov Self Care for Parents Caretakers Virginia Department of Social Services 801 East Main Street Richmond Virginia 23219 www dss virginia gov B032 01 003 6 03 e ng 08 15 t t t t Talk with other parents Join a community activity or group t Notice them t Ask them about themselves t Play with them t Ways to Show Your Children That You Care Read aloud together t Language Interpretive Services Available The primary goal of child protective services is to strengthen and support families in preventing the re occurrence of child maltreatment through community based services Visit or talk with friends or relatives Hug them t Child Abuse Hotline 1 800 552 7096 The CPS worker will conduct a child safety assessment determine if child abuse or neglect occurred or if there is risk or harm and develop a safety and services plan with the family when indicated Relieve stress by taking a walk reading or pursuing a hobby Suggest better behaviors when they act out t After a report is made a child protective services CPS worker will interview the child and siblings the parents or caretakers and the alleged abuser The CPS worker may also contact other persons having information about suspected abuse or neglect of the child ren Find a sitter you can trust to give you time for adult interests and relationships Praise more t Local Department of Social Services Response t When parents take time to care for themselves they are better able to manage the challenges of parenting Learn to recognize signs of stress and take time out to replenish yourself You may wish to Criticize less Recognizing Reporting and Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect in Virginia

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6 Commits or allows to be committed any illegal sexual act upon a child including incest rape fondling indecent exposure prostitution or allows a child to be used in any sexually explicit visual material Making a Difference in a Child s Life Each year in Virginia over 50 000 children are reported to local social services departments for suspected child abuse or neglect Abuse and neglect of children occurs within families and in other settings where children are provided care or services These settings include schools residential facilities day care centers homes and recreational or sporting programs Recognizing and reporting suspected child abuse and neglect are first steps toward ensuring the safety and well being of children What is Child Abuse and Neglect Section 63 2 100 of the Code of Virginia defines an abused or neglected child as any child under 18 years of age whose parent guardian or other person responsible for the child s care 1 Causes or threatens to cause a non accidental physical or mental injury 2 Causes or threatens to cause a non accidental physical or mental injury during the manufacture or sale of certain drugs 3 Neglects or refuses to provide adequate food clothing shelter emotional nurturing or health care 4 Abandons the child 5 Fails to provide adequate supervision in relation to the child s age and level of development 7 Knowingly leaves a child alone in the same dwelling with a person who is not related to the child by blood or marriage and who is required to register as a violent sexual offender RECOGNIZING CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT Physical Abuse U nexplained bruises or burns on face torso back buttocks thighs M ultiple injuries in various stages of healing B ruises welts resembling instrument used e g belt cord H uman bite marks I njuries regularly appearing after absence weekend etc U nexplained fractures lacerations abrasions R eports injury by caretaker U ncomfortable with physical contact C omplains of soreness or moves uncomfortably W ears clothing inappropriate to weather to cover body Afraid to go home May be a chronic runaway adolescents Behavior extremes withdrawn aggressive Apprehensive when other children cry Physical Neglect C onsistent hunger poor hygiene U nattended physical problems or medical needs Consistent lack of supervision Abandonment Sexual Abuse S exually transmitted disease pre teens Pregnancy Difficulty walking or sitting Pain or itching in genital area T orn stained or bloody underclothing B ruises bleeding in external genitalia Reports sexual abuse Highly sexualized play D etailed age inappropriate understanding of sexual behavior R ole reversal overly concerned for siblings E xhibits delinquent behavior M ay attempt suicide or other self injury behavior M ay have eating disorders D eterioration in academic performance In addition the law requires health care providers to report to CPS any newborn infant who tests positive for drugs Reporting Anyone may report suspected abuse or neglect however Section 63 2 1509 of the Code of Virginia requires that designated professionals who have contact with children immediately report their suspicions It is not necessary to prove that abuse or neglect has occurred Reports can be made by calling your local social services department or the Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline at 1 800 552 7096 Reports can be made anonymously If you choose to provide your name it will not be released to the family who was reported except by Court order Persons reporting in good faith are immune from civil and criminal liability pursuant to Section 63 2 1512 of the Code of Virginia Behavioral Indicators Physical Indicators ay have frequent stomach aches Mental Abuse M head aches or unexplained weight or Neglect fluctuations M ay have speech disorders M ay lag in physical development M ay have a non organic failure to thrive medical diagnosis M ay have learning problems R eports no caretaker at home B egs steals food Frequently absent or tardy C onstant fatigue listlessness or falling asleep in class E xtended stays at school early arrival and late departure Shunned by peers E xhibits age inappropriate behaviors such as thumb sucking biting head banging or rocking E xhibits extreme behaviors such as over compliance passivity aggression or withdrawal E xhibits emotional or intellectual developmental delays E xhibits cruel behavior or may seem to get pleasure from hurting others and or animals M ay abuse alcohol or drugs M ay have eating disorders A combination or pattern of indicators should alert you to the possibility of maltreatment Indicators should be considered together with the explanation provided the child s developmental and physical capabilities and behavior changes