Can I be a child? is a question that no child should have to ask. But, today I ask the question on behalf of all the children who are suffering from abuse and neglect. So many are in care, so many are still under the wrath of their abusers and so many are dying each year. “Over 65,000 children live with almost 55,000 foster families across the UK each day. ” (Thefosteringnetwork.org.uk, 2015)
So, how does one know if vulnerable children and others are well looked after? Are there any processes that prevent abuse and neglect and emergencies for those children?
The bbc reports that “The number of reported incidents of children dying or being seriously harmed after suspected abuse or neglect rose ” (Covid-19: Rise in suspected child abuse cases after lockdown, 2021). Nonetheless, the most alarming is the fact that “Due to coronavirus (COVID-19), Ofsted suspended all routine inspections of social care providers on 17 March 2020.” (GOV.UK, n.d.)
So, how can we help the victims ?
Before you can find an organisation that can support you, If someone is in immediate danger or at risk of immediate harm, call 999 for the police. You can also call 999 for an ambulance if someone is injured.
What are the signs to look for in a case of child abuse ?
Changes in a child’s behaviour that need our attention can include:
- The child acting in a sexual way with toys or object
- Suddenly having nightmares or other sleeping problems
- Becoming withdrawn or very clingy
- Personality changes or suddenly seeming insecure
- Regressing to younger behaviours, such as bedwetting
- Unaccountable fear of particular places or people
- Outbursts of anger
- Changes in eating habits
- Physical signs, such as unexplained soreness or bruises around private parts
- Becoming secretive
- Having unexplained gifts such as toys, money, mobile phone, expensive clothes.
- Pain, discoloration, bleeding or discharges in genitals, anus or mouth
- Persistent or recurring pain during urination and bowel movements
- Wetting and soiling accidents unrelated to toilet training
Please do not ignore them because they need us to care and help.
Thefosteringnetwork.org.uk. (2015). Fostering statistics. [online] Available at: https://www.thefosteringnetwork.org.uk/advice-information/all-about-fostering/fostering-statistics#:~:text=1%2056 [Accessed 11 Feb. 2021].
GOV.UK. (n.d.). Main findings: children’s social care in England 2020. [online] Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/childrens-social-care-data-in-england-2020/main-findings-childrens-social-care-in-england-2020 [Accessed 11 Feb. 2021].
Covid-19: Rise in suspected child abuse cases after lockdown. (2021). BBC News. [online] 16 Jan. Available at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-55682745.
Parents Protect – Warning signs in children and adults (2021). Parent Protect. [online]. available at: https://www.parentsprotect.co.uk/warning-signs-in-children-and-adults.htm?utm_source=bing&utm_medium=ad&utm_campaign=pp-warning-child#WARNING%20SIGNS%20IN%20CHILDREN