The Role of First Responders in Child Maltreatment Cases: Disaster and Nondisaster Situations
Office on Child Abuse and Neglect, Children's Bureau. Cage, Richard., Salus, Marsha K.|
|Year Published: 2010|
Exhibit 2-2 Marks from Burns or Instruments
This exhibit presents drawings of distinct shapes that may appear on the child's body as a result of injuries from physical abuse. Marks from instruments include those from a belt buckle, belt, looped cord, stick/whip, fly swatter, coat hanger, board or spatula, hand/knuckles, bite, sauce pan, paddle, hair brush, and spoon.
Exhibit 2-2 Marks from Burns or Instruments
This exhibit presents drawings of distinct shapes that may appear on the child's body as a result of injuries from physical abuse. Marks from burns include those from a hot plate, light bulb, curling iron, car cigarette lighter, steam iron, knife, grid, cigarette, and fork, as well as immersion (in water).
Distinguishing Physical Abuse from Nonintentional Injury
This set of drawings of a child's body indicates common and questionable sites for bruises. Common sites for bruises on the front of a child's body include the forehead, eyebrows, knees, and shins. Common sites for bruises on the back of a child's body include the elbows. Questionable sites for bruises on the front of a child's body include the ears, cheeks, neck, tips of shoulders, arms, abdomen, pubic area, and thighs, as well as between the eyes and nose. Questionable sites for bruises on the back of a child's body include the back of head, neck, spine, arms, buttocks, backs of the thighs, and calves.
Exhibit 3-3 Offenders by Relationship to Victims, 2008
This pie chart presents offenders by relationship to victims. The percentages are:
Other Relative: 6.5%
Foster Parent: 0.4%
Residential Facility Staff: 0.2%
Child Daycare Provider: 0.5%
Unmarried Partner of Parent: 4.4%
Legal Guardian: 0.2%
Other Professionals: 0.1%
Friends or Neighbors: 0.5%
Unknown or Missing: 3.3%
This set of three drawings shows the effects of a child being immersed in a bathtub filled with extremely hot liquid. The first drawing shows a child being held in the bathtub by an adult, with the child grabbing the adult's arm with his right hand and bracing himself in the liquid with his left hand, which is submerged up to the elbow. The child is in a position similar to sitting, with his lower torso, buttocks, upper thighs, and legs below the knees also submerged in the hot liquid. His knees, upper torso, right arm, and head are not submerged.
The remaining two drawings illustrate the doughnut-shaped burn marks that would result from this type of burn. The second drawing, which shows the child's front, indicates burns on the child's left arm below the elbow, from his lower stomach to mid-thigh (except for the pubic area, which was protected from the liquid by the folds of skin created in that area when the child's knees are drawn toward his chest in the reclined seating position), and below his knees (except for the heels, which were protected from the hot liquid by being in contact with the bottom of the bathtub). The third drawing, which shows the child's back, indicates burns on the child's left arm below the elbow, from his lower back to mid-thigh (except for the part of the buttocks, which were protected from the hot liquid by being in contact with the bottom of the bathtub), and below his knees (except for the heels, which were protected from the hot liquid by being in contact with the bottom of the bathtub).
Exhibit 3-5 Overview of the CPS Process
This flow chart provides an overview of the child protection process.
The first step is identification, which means to recognize signs of child abuse or neglect.
The second step is reporting. This means to contact a designated agency (CPS or law enforcement) and provide information on suspected maltreatment.
The third step is intake. During intake, it is determined whether a report meets statutory and agency guidelines. A decision is made whether to investigate and an assessment is made regarding the urgency of the response to the request.
If the case does not meet statutory and agency guidelines (also known as screened out), the family can be referred to other services, depending on whether any other needs were identified, or the case is closed.
If the report does meet statutory and agency guidelines (also known as screened in), it goes through an initial assessment or investigation. In this process, the caseworker will contact the child and family to gather information and then make a determination of whether maltreatment occurred. The caseworker also will assess the safety of the child and whether there is a need for emergency removal or services. In addition, they will assess the risk of future abuse or neglect.
If the assessment rules out or unsubstantiates that abuse occurred, the case is closed. The family also can be referred to other services depending on whether any other needs were identified.
If the assessment or investigation substantiates the abuse, a family assessment is performed to identify the family's strengths and needs and to assess factors contributing to the risk of maltreatment.
The next step is planning. In this stage, the caseworker specifies the outcomes and goals that will reflect a reduction or elimination of the risk of maltreatment to the child. The caseworker will identify strategies or services to achieve these goals and outcomes; develop case plans, permanency plans, and other plans; and establish time frames to meet these goals.
After developing case plans, the caseworker decides on what type of service provision is necessary. The services can be provided in-home, for example, family preservation and parenting education, or provided out-of-home, for example, foster care and reunification services.
The next step is an evaluation of family progress. This includes assessing the safety of the child and the reduction of risks; evaluating the achievement of family outcomes, goals, and tasks; and reviewing progress and the need for continued services. If such services need to continue, the caseworker will perform additional family and case planning and review the types of services to provide.
Based on findings of the family progress evaluation, the caseworker will decide if the planning goals have been met. If so, the case is closed once the caseworker assesses the levels of safety and risk and determines whether the family can protect the child without further CPS services. The family also can be referred to other services depending on whether any other needs were identified.
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