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Child Abuse and Safety

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Child Abuse and Safety programs accept and respond to reports of child abuse or neglect. Services include assessment of the initial referral, assignment of an appropriate response time, consultation with the family to determine the nature of the problem and do initial case planning, and emergency placement services if the child is removed from the family by the police.

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Child Abuse Hotlines programs provide immediate assistance for parents who have abused or fear they may abuse their children with the objective of defusing the parent's anger and frustration and ensuring the child's future safety through referrals for ongoing support and treatment. Also included may be services for abused children and concerned others who are in need of advice, guidance and/or emotional support. Hotline staff are generally available via the telephone, email, live chat and/or instant message (IM).

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Child Abuse Counseling programs provide therapeutic interventions for individuals and/or families who are experiencing child abuse including abandonment, neglect, or emotional, physical or sexual abuse by a parent, guardian, or other family or extended family member whom the child trusts and who is in a position of power over the child. Counseling is offered in a variety of settings and may include individual, conjoint, family and group therapy sessions for the child, the abusing or non-abusing parent(s) and siblings. Separate sessions may be available for young children who have been victimized and for older children in their teens.

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Child Abuse Medical Evaluations programs that have hospitals and clinics with multidisciplinary teams conduct historical interviews and physical examinations of children to determine whether there are injuries or other forms of physical evidence that are consistent with neglect, emotional deprivation/failure to thrive, or physical or sexual abuse that constitute the battered child syndrome. Historical information supplied by the child in the medical interview may be used to establish a case for child abuse even in the absence of physical evidence.

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Child Abuse Prevention programs, often offered in the schools or in other community settings, attempt to protect children from physical, sexual and/or emotional abuse or exploitation through a variety of educational interventions which may focus on children of various ages, parents, people who work with children and/or the community at large.  The sessions may offer suggestions for children and/or parents regarding ways of avoiding or handling an abusive or potentially abusive situation and/or information about the indicators and incidence of abuse, requirements for reporting abuse and community resources that are available to children who have been abused and to their families.

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Child Abuse Support Groups whose members are individuals who have been involved in a persistent pattern of violence and/or neglect involving a child which may include abandonment, emotional abuse, emotional deprivation, physical abuse and corporal punishment that results in a traumatic condition, physical neglect and/or inadequate supervision and/or sexual abuse or exploitation. The groups meet in-person, by telephone or via the Internet; provide emotional support, information and resources for those who participate; and may be structured for children who are victims of abuse, siblings, non-abusing parents or other adults living in the household, adults who were abused as children, parents who are involved in child abuse or fear they may abuse their children or others who are responsible for an abused child and are involved in the abuse.

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