Authenticated PDF. The child welfare policy of this State shall serve to advance the best interests and secure the safety of the child, while preserving the family unit whenever the safety of the child is not jeopardized. The child welfare policy of this State extends to all child victims, whether victims of intrafamilial or extrafamilial child abuse and neglect.
To that end this chapter, among other things, does all of the following:. This chapter also provides for the protection of children in facilities or organizations primarily concerned with child welfare and care that are required to be licensed under Delaware law by requiring the Delaware Department of Justice to notify any such facility where an employee of, or other person associated with, the facility has been charged with or convicted of an offense involving child sexual abuse. Laws, c.
Policy, Procedures and Practice Guidance
Family assessment and services shall be used in conjunction with the investigation approach defined in paragraph 19 of this section but may not supplant it in circumstances which require an investigation. The family assessment response shall focus on the integrity and preservation of the family and shall assess the status of the child and the family in terms of the risk of abuse and neglect and, if necessary, plan and provide for the provision of community-based services to reduce the risk and to otherwise support the family.
The Division shall develop protocols for its investigations that focus on ensuring the well-being and safety of the child. Repealed by 73 Del. The Division shall make information on the general disposition of the report available through the Division report line to any person required to report under this section.
An immediate oral report must be made by telephone or otherwise. Reports and the contents thereof including a written report, if requested, must be made in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Division, or in accordance with the rules and regulations adopted by the Division. An individual with knowledge of child abuse or neglect or knowledge that leads to a good faith suspicion of child abuse or neglect may not rely on another individual who has less direct knowledge to call the aforementioned report line.
The report must include all persons with joint knowledge of the known or suspected instance of child abuse or neglect at the time the report is made. The Division shall keep unsubstantiated reports in the internal information system. Notwithstanding any provision of the Delaware Code to the contrary, to the extent the law-enforcement agency with primary jurisdiction over the case is unable to assist, the primary law-enforcement agency may request another law-enforcement agency with jurisdiction to exercise such jurisdiction.
Upon request, the other law-enforcement agency may exercise such jurisdiction. Such relevant information as may be contained in the internal information system must also be forwarded to the appropriate Division staff. The system shall endeavor to coordinate community resources and provide assistance or services to children and families identified to be at risk, and to prevent and remedy child abuse and neglect. The State, with assistance from the Child Protection Accountability Commission, shall implement a memorandum of understanding among agencies and entities to ensure implementation of the multidisciplinary response to such cases.
Within 5 business days of the receipt of a report concerning allegations of child abuse or neglect by a person known to be licensed or certified by a Delaware agency or professional regulatory organization, forward a report of such allegations to the appropriate Delaware agency or professional regulatory organization. Reports to CPAC may not disclose the identities of the child, alleged perpetrators, or others involved in the case or cases.
Participate as a member of the multidisciplinary team for cases outlined in paragraph c 1 b. However, the disclosure of case specific data and information to the multidisciplinary team is authorized to ensure a comprehensive, integrated, multidisciplinary response to child abuse cases. The protocols for making this determination shall be developed by the Division and shall give priority to ensuring the well-being and safety of the child.
The Division may investigate any other report.
If such a medical examination is authorized under this section, the Division is authorized to transport the child to the medical examination. Also, among adult perpetrators of sexual abuse, they are more likely to be young adult males under the age of Talking to Young Children ages 4 to 8 Beginning to talk with children while they are young is important to help them understand issues and risks that may occur in later years.
When talking to young children from ages 4 to 8: What to Say and Do Build a strong relationship with children based on open, clear communication.
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This helps a child feel comfortable in disclosing potentially inappropriate experiences with you in case they ever occur. Also, it gives your child a person to seek out for help if someone else discloses abuse to them and action needs to be taken to investigate the charge. Talk with young children about feelings and encourage them to express how they feel. Help them label their feelings so that they will better understand and be more aware of what is going on inside them. Teach them to identify and share when they feel sad, angry or scared.
Conversation makes the parent-child connection stronger. Teach that feelings of hurt and anger can be shared safely with others who can understand and give support. Being curious is natural for children of a young age. Avoid giving too much detailed or in-depth information of a sexual nature at a young age.
Answer questions in an age-appropriate manner. Help children feel comfortable discussing such issues with you. Instruct children clearly and carefully on what is and is not appropriate physical or sexual contact between themselves and any adults or older children. Explain which parts of the body are private genitals, etc. Ask occasionally, in a nonspecific way, if they still understand what you have taught them and if they have any questions or information to share in this area. Encourage children to share their experiences, fears or concerns on things of a sexual nature with honesty. Suggest they come to you if they have experienced something of a sexual nature that causes fear, hurt, discomfort or embarrassment.
Kids start to get embarrassed about observing inappropriate scenes or materials at about this age. Assure them that they will be listened to carefully and taken seriously if they do report such feelings or encounters. Provide children with the information and skills necessary to cope with attempted abuse.
Information about child abuse should be shared with a child in familiar surroundings by a trusted adult.
For example, a parent could have a private discussion at the kitchen table. Be gentle and frank, and discuss the topic in a way that both heightens awareness and reduces fear. Children need to be able to ask questions and feel trust about sharing on sensitive topics. Guide young children toward understanding physical and sexual boundaries. These boundaries include management of personal behaviors touching private parts in public, etc.
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Limit exposure of children to in-depth or graphic media coverage of sexual abuse cases or investigations. Avoid fueling paranoia or constant fear in children, or causing vicarious trauma through graphic description of sexual abuse. Instead, provide information and answer questions as needed with an emphasis on healthy boundaries, safety, disclosure and security. Explain situations of possible risk and encourage children to avoid potentially problematic situations.
Such concerns include: Accepting candy, items or gifts from strangers without parental permission Not telling parents or other trusted adults about negative encounters with others Walking to places alone without an older child or adult Being touched inappropriately by any individual, including known family members and relatives Teach young children the correct names for body parts and sexual organs.
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This allows them to gain a clear understanding of what you or others may discuss with them regarding sexual matters. Emphasize the serious nature of disclosing acts of abuse by another person. Also, emphasize that joking or lying about an alleged act of abuse is not appropriate, nor is threatening to report abuse or doing so as a result of anger, revenge or disappointment in another person.
Children who have been victimized likely believe such threats. Children should be encouraged to confide in a trusted adult if someone ever makes such threats to them. A strong sense of self-worth can assist children to avoid individuals who seek to entrap them, minimize their need for attention or approval from others, and feel more comfortable in reporting problems if they do occur. Become educated about childhood sexual expression and behaviors. Assist children of this age, who typically are approaching or passing into puberty sexual maturation , to understand the common and appropriate expression of thoughts, feelings or behaviors regarding sexual issues.
Discuss and reinforce key boundaries regarding engagement in sexual expression and behaviors. Children of this age also should be taught the limits on their own behavior in these areas.
Instead, go with your child to the location of the activity, take time to ensure it has appropriate adult supervision, meet and identify yourself to other adults and, if possible, stay and observe or participate with your child. Talking to Teens ages 14 to 18 When talking to teens from ages 14 to What to Say and Do Recognize the signs and symptoms of anxiety and depression in teens, as this may coincide with experiences of sexual abuse.
Signs of depression may include feelings of sadness, excessive sleep or inability to sleep, weight loss or gain, physical and emotional fatigue, continuing anxiety, social withdrawal from friends or school, misuse of drugs or alcohol and related symptoms. Be direct and frank with a teen about any concerns, and intervene and get professional help and resources if necessary. Discuss how using alcohol and other drugs negatively impacts their ability to be aware of their environment and keep themselves safe.
Peer groups among young people often discourage telling information that has been shared. Make clear to a child that some secrets or pieces of information must be shared with a trusted adult, who then can act to prevent further injury, hurt or abuse.
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Develop a positive communication style with teenagers. Avoid threatening, ordering, criticizing or lecturing them. Instead, make a point of listening to their thoughts, feelings and wishes, and try to understand and respect their views. Such communication allows them to trust you with information and feelings if they encounter abuse or harm. Encourage teenage children to attend parties or social activities in pairs or with two or more friends and to avoid isolating themselves from others.
Instruct them to stay together and to look out for each other. Always ensure that adult chaperones are available and monitoring such activities. Finally, volunteer to attend and be present as a chaperone for parties, social activities, sports outings or other events in which your child wishes to participate. Teach teenage children to avoid situations that may make them vulnerable to sexual abuse or harassment.
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Examples include being alone unsupervised with significantly older youth or adults, participation in unsupervised or unchaperoned overnight trips, being singled out for special treatment or attention by older youth or adults, or involvement in settings where lone adults have access to children without other adult supervision. If possible, use cell phones with your teenage children to regularly check in with them regarding their location, current activities, whom they are with and their sense of security.
Assure them that they can contact you at any time if they feel they are in a threatening or unsafe situation. Talk to teenagers about appropriate and safe guidelines for using the Internet, which perpetrators of abuse may use to seek out or track potential victims. Such guidelines include: Avoid posting or providing personal contact information on Internet sites.
Avoid chat rooms or message boards where information is exchanged with unknown parties. Do not respond to, exchange information with or arrange to meet people met through Internet activities. Limit Internet usage to specific, approved uses for a short time period each day. Discuss the actions that need to take place when they feel that way, such as leaving the area with a friend, contacting an adult, yelling, etc. Warning Signs of Sexual Abuse in Children A variety of warning signs may indicate that a child or youth has experienced some kind of child maltreatment or sexual abuse.
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Recommended Resources and Organizations Child Abuse Prevention Network - Networking site for professionals and others on identification, investigation, treatment and prevention of all forms of child maltreatment. Child Welfare Information Gateway Child Welfare League of America - An association of nearly public and private nonprofit agencies that provide services to abused children and their families.
ChildHelp - ChildHelp is a foundation with a national abuse hotline and it focuses on prevention and treatment of child abuse. Child Lures Prevention - Personal safety and abuse prevention program with online information and resources for parents and communities. Prevent Child Abuse America - The premier national organization providing resources, education and advocacy for the prevention and treatment of child abuse. Prevent Child Abuse ND - The leading child abuse prevention organization providing resources, education and advocacy for children and families in North Dakota.
References Conklin, K. Filed under: family , youth. Feel free to use and share this content, but please do so under the conditions of our Creative Commons license and our Rules for Use. Box Fargo, ND
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