Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.
There are four types of child abuse. They are defined in the UK Government guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children 2010 which are:
Bullying is not defined as a form of abuse in Working Together but there is clear evidence that it is abusive and will include at least one, if not two, three or all four, of the defined categories of abuse.
Recognising child abuse is not easy. It is not our responsibility to decide whether or not child abuse has taken place or if a child is at significant risk of harm from someone. We do however, have both a responsibility and duty, as set out in your organisation’s child protection procedures, to act in order that the appropriate agencies can investigate and take any necessary action to protect a child.
Physical abuse is deliberately causing physical harm to a child. This might involve punching; kicking, biting, burning, scalding, shaking, throwing or beating with objects such as belts, whips, or sticks. It also includes poisoning, giving a child alcohol or illegal drugs, drowning or suffocation. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of illness in a child.
Sexual abuse is the forcing of unwanted sexual activity by one person on another, as by the use of threats or coercion. Sexual activity that is deemed improper or harmful, as between an adult and a minor or with a person of diminished mental capacity. Sexual abuse is common with children. Most of the times they are unable to speak out.
Emotional or psychological abuse is a form of abuse characterised by a person subjecting or exposing another to behaviours that may result in psychological trauma, including anxiety, chronic depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder.
Neglect is defined as ‘the repeated deprivation of assistance that the Adult at Risk needs for important activities of daily living, including a failure to intervene in behaviour which is dangerous to the Adult at Risk or to others, and poor manual handling techniques.’
If you suspect abuse has taken place or abuse has been brought to your attention you are obliged to take action but you must also ensure at all times that the welfare of the child/young person/vulnerable adult is paramount and the interests of the person against whom the allegation has been made are protected.