Department of Human Services
Families First Online Policy Manual
Protection of Children
CONDITIONS OF A PARENT INDICATING POSSIBLE ABUSE/NEGLECT OF CHILDREN
The information has been provided from the Child Protective Services manual for the caseworker to use in evaluating whether child abuse/neglect might exist and/or whether a referral to Department of Children’s Services for further evaluation is in order.
· Isolation from family supports such as relatives, friends, neighbors, and community groups.
· Appearance of trusting no one.
· Reluctance to give information about the child’s condition or injuries. Unable to offer an explanation or the explanation is far-fetched, contradictory, or plausible but unlikely.
· Responds inappropriately to the seriousness of the child’s condition either by overreacting (hostile or antagonistic) or by under-reacting (exhibiting little concern or awareness and seeming more preoccupied with their own problems).
· Refusal to consent to diagnostic studies of the child.
· Failure or delay in taking the child for medical care for routine checkups, optometric or dental care or for treatment of injuries or illness.
· Overly critical of the child and seldom, if ever, discusses the child in positive terms.
· Unrealistic expectation of the child, expecting or demanding behavior that is beyond the child’s years of ability.
· Belief in the necessity of harsh punishment for children.
· Seldom touches or looks at the child; ignores the child’s crying or reacts with impatience.
· Keeps the child confined, perhaps in a crib or playpen, for overlong periods of time.
· Seems to lack understanding of child’s physical, emotional and psychological needs.
· Appears to be misusing alcohol or drugs.
· Cannot be located.
· Appears to lack control, or fears losing control, of children or self.
· Lacks knowledge of parenting skills.
· Appears to be borderline in intelligence, psychotic or psychopathic.
· Exhibits generally irrational behavior.
· Gives child inappropriate food, drink or medication.
The above lists are not all-inclusive, but are some indicator that conditions are conducive to abuse/neglect. As in any situation involving human beings, a particular observable condition must be viewed in relation to other conditions existing in a family. However, if a child and his parent both exhibit any one of the listed conditions, a referral will be made to the Department of Children’s Services for the protection of the child.