One of the first considerations related to support of maltreated students and their families is sensitivity to feelings. No one wants personal information about problems in their family to be widely known at school. Most students do not want other children at school to know that they have been maltreated or that they have been removed from their parents and live in a shelter or foster home. Parents or other caregivers whose families have been investigated as a result of a hotline report don’t want everyone at school to be aware of this situation. They don’t want to feel stigmatized or that personnel at school are judging them. This is particularly important as about 60 percent of reports investigated as a result of reports to the hotline are categorized as not revealing indicators or findings of maltreatment.
An important way to handle abuse situations appropriately is to share information about abuse only with those who need to know and in confidential settings. Teachers of students who may be maltreated should be informed, so that they may monitor the student’s condition and safety as a preventive measure. However, teachers must understand and acknowledge the necessity to maintain confidentiality of shared information. Any discussion should occur in a private setting… not the front office, hallways, staff lounges or lunchrooms.
Please read pages 33 through 45 of the Child Abuse Source Book .
This will appear as pages 45-53 when you download the Source Book as a pdf file. This material will help you to deal with your own feelings about child abuse and help you to become an advocate for maltreated children. You will learn:
- How to help maltreated children succeed in the classroom
- How to engage the parent with the school
- Support services in the school and community
- Constructive responses to problem behaviors of an abused child.
TO REPORT CHILD ABUSE, CALL 1-800-96ABUSE
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