Keeping an Eye Out: Child Advocacy
Child Abuse and Neglect
Child abuse is the neglect or sexual, physical or emotional mistreatment of a child, whereby the child’s development, self-esteem, survival and safety are put at jeopardy. This abuse can be either by the parents, caregivers or even other people around the child. Child abuse dates back in history where there are records and reports of abandonment, infanticide, mutilation and violent acts against children. There are charitable organizations and people concerned with the welfare of children and their protection. The issue of children advocacy however, got attention in 1962, upon a seminal work publication, The Battered Child Syndrome, given by Kempe et al.
PK is the first stage of learning that a child goes through. The classes are for children between three and five years. The learning consists of all programs that families use to educate and bring up their children. PK mainly focuses on a child physical, cognitive and emotional development. In order to strengthen families after encountering child abuse or for prevention of child abuse several steps can be taken.
Parent Involvement in School
In order for a child’s emotional, social and academic growth, they must have the support of the people around them including their parents. This can be through participation in school activities that involve parents, going for PTA meetings, getting involved in their child’s schoolwork and so on. Teachers enable the parents’ involvement by communicating to the parents about the child’s behavior and growth. This can be done through emails or by telephone. The administration can create more activities where both the parents and children can participate.
The administration may also join social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, where parents and teachers can actively communicate about the children. This would also help the teachers communicate about the latest development in the school, without necessary having to call for meetings all the time; one of the reasons of child neglect is because parents or caregivers are too busy. Social networking could help reduce this, as the parent is able to know the progress of the child. Another way of parents getting involved in a child’s education is by asking the child their progress in school and helping them out with any problems that they might have. Research shows that family actively affects the success of a child in school. This also builds their self-esteem, which contributes to a child’s healthy growth.
Counseling can be given to families, which have undergone child abuse or whereby one of the children has been violated. Counseling can also be given to parents who are at risk of abusing their children. The parents may be counseled on ways of redirecting their anger from their children. This can be through attending classes of anger management and parenting. The counselors also address the parents on factors that could lead to child abuse and neglect. These include marital conflict, drug abuse, parent-child conflict and external stresses, for example, from financial difficulty.
The community also gets involved in this, by offering child and family resources that could help reduce the stress and problems. Forms of counseling include individual, advocacy domestic violence and family counseling, case management interventions and through groups that are educational. Through this, child and neglect is prevented in homes. Some communities also offer support such as differential response. This is where parents who are in danger of abusing and neglecting their children are given counseling services. This ensures the permanence and welfare of children in their homes. Other services offered by the community include the child protective services.
If a family is reported to the court to having cases of child abuse, the family receives in-home counseling. The family is given full attention and monitoring. Counseling may also be given to children who have undergone abuse. Often, a child who has been physically abused may also experience emotional hurt, caused by poor parenting and fear.
Family bonding helps the children and parents to be in harmony. They are ways of sharing and for the family to be on the same line. The family could get involved or do things that all of them enjoy. These activities may include games, family assessments, family dinner and other activities that the family could do while together. Parents could involve with their children in sports and other games. Games could include hide and seek, which would especially be a lot of fun for small children. Sports could include swimming where the children are taught how to swim by their parents.
The family could also have family dinner, where they all have dinner together. In this the children can be allowed to help their parents in cooking or setting up and clearing the table. Another way of bonding is by watching television or a movie together. The family would choose a channel or movie in which they would all enjoy watching. Incase of small children the parents could read to them stories, where they could have make up sessions for the characters in the story. Other activities may include picnics, camping or even going to a zoo or circus as a family.
In bonding, the parents also motivate their children. Family members should be able to support each other and not be judgmental. They should give each other the opportunity to express themselves and develop. Parents should try to reason with their children instead of being too dictating. One of the other ways that parents get to bond and help in the growth of their children is by participating in school activities. In these ways, the members of the family learn to value and appreciate each other so that cases of child abuse and neglect can be reduced.
Religion strengthens family ties and the family bonds. By the family getting actively involved in religion, they learn good values, which keep the family intact. Research shows that children from religious family report to being most happy. Cases of divorce are lower in couples who are religiously involved. Religion also leads to father- child relationships and child and parent relationships that are closer. Domestic violence is also reduced in religious families. Research also shows that religion promotes parents’ involvement with their children.
Family involvement in religion has helped reduce cases of child abuse and neglect. This is because religion acts as a firm foundation for the family. Parents who have been involved in child abuse are offered support by their various religions on how to fight and overcome this. Some churches also offer counseling for the couples who are experiencing problems. The church also offers counseling for individuals who have a drug abuse problem. They help the parent to deal with their problem and hence be able to avoid child neglect or abuse.
Children who have also undergone child abuse are offered support. Children are also taught how to avoid and respond when they are in danger of being violated. Members of different religions also form groups, which can support children who have been abused. They also give support to families who are experiencing financial difficulty, through charity. In this parental neglect because of financial stress can be avoided. These factors are able to contribute to a child’s growth, as the child is not experiencing any stress. The child feels supported by his family and caregivers. This in turn would lead to the child’s cognitive, emotional and physical health.
Child Welfare Information Gateway. (2008). Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect. Retrieved from http://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/factsheets/preventingcan.cfm
Dollahite, David C. (2005). How Family Religious Involvement Benefits Adults, Youth and Children and Strengthens Families. The Sutherland Institute: Adding Value to Utah. Retrieved from http://www.sutherlandinstitute.org/uploads/howfamilyreligiousinvolvementbenefits.pdf
Gianzero, Gina. (1999). Promoting Parental Involvement, Improving Student Outcomes. Working Paper Prepared for San Diego Dialogue. Retrieved from http://www.sandiegodialogue.org/pdfs/Parental%20Involvement%20doc.pdf