Identifying Child Abuse Pt. 3 – Neglect
According to a study by the National Academy of Science’s Institute of Medicine, neglect accounts for roughly 75 percent of all reported child abuse cases. Further, while rates physical abuse and sexual abuse have been on the decline over the past two decades, rates of child neglect have remained relatively constant.
These statistics represent a failure to properly combat neglect, and in response experts have begun pushing for a renewed sense of urgency in the search for preventive measures.
What Constitutes Child Neglect?
According to the American Human Association, child neglect is defined as maltreatment resulting from the failure of a caregiver to adequately provide the necessary, age-appropriate care despite having the financial and physical means to do so.
The Four types of Neglect
Professionals have broken down neglect into major four variants:
- Physical Neglect – Physical neglect is the most common form of neglect and the most recognized. Such neglect occurs when a child is not provided basic necessities, including adequate food, clothing, and shelter. These failures endanger the child and expose them to illness, physical injuries, and emotional and psychological trauma.
- Educational Neglect – Educational neglect occurs when a caregiver fails to enroll a school aged child into a school, provide home proper schooling, or special educational training when necessary. Educational neglect deprives children of emotional and intellectual growth.
- Emotional and Psychological Neglect – These forms of neglect include ignoring a child, rejection, Verbal abuse, isolating a child, and encouraging a child to take part in destructive and antisocial behaviors or illicit actions. Chronic emotional and psychological neglect can result in an increased risk of alcohol and drug dependency as well as suicide.
- Medical Neglect – medical neglect is the failure by a caretaker to provide appropriate health care to a child. A 2005 study found that 2 percent of all U.S. children are victims of medical neglect. Medical neglect covers the need for acute treatment, treatment of a chronic disease, and treatment for a disability.
Signs a Child is Being Neglected
Childhood neglect can is normally marked by the following signs and symptoms:
- Stunted growth
- Poor hygiene
- Poor weight gain
- Lack of proper clothing
- Lack of supplies
- Hiding food for later
- Poor school attendance
- Lack of dental attention
- Emotional swings