Abuse and Neglect: Orientation Project

Abuse and Neglect: Orientation Project. You have been tasked with orienting new registered nurses in the emergency department in…

Abuse and Neglect: Orientation Project


You have been tasked with orienting new registered nurses in the emergency department in your hospital on how to manage child abuse and neglect cases. The orientation should cover child abuse and neglect definitions, prevention, detection, intervention and treatment, reporting, and interdisciplinary resources.

Create an orientation that covers the definition, prevention, detection, intervention and treatment, reporting, and interdisciplinary resources, and ensure you:

Define abuse, using:

  • The federal definition of child abuse and neglect
  • Your state\’s definition of child abuse and neglect

Discuss prevention, and analyze the nurse\’s role in each level of prevention:

  • Primary
  • Secondary
  • Tertiary

List the risk factors of abuse, including environmental indicators and disparities in care.

Explain detection, and illustrate the signs and symptoms of child abuse and neglect:

  • Emotional
  • Behavioral
  • Physical

Address intervention ,and reporting as stated in your state\’s requirements related to child abuse and neglect:

  • Who can report?
  • Who is mandated (legally required) to report?
  • Where (to whom) is information reported?

Address treatment:

·         Provide examples of treatment resources available in your area for children affected by abuse and their caregivers.

  • Find collaborative resources for abuse and neglect intervention and treatment.

Identify resources for appropriate referral:

  • List interdisciplinary support services for children affected by abuse.

Summarize the differences between prevention, detection, intervention, treatment, and reporting in child abuse and neglect and spousal or elder abuse and/or violence. Answer the following questions in your summary:

  • Are the reporting requirements the same?
  • Are all types of abuse and neglect defined the same way?
  • How does treatment differ?
  • What different resources are available for varying types of abuse?
  • How do signs and symptoms change with age?
  • How does the role of the community nurse change at each level of prevention depending on the type of abuse?

Format your assignment as one of the following:

  • 700- to 1,050-word paper

Cite at least 1 peer-reviewed reference and 1 evidence-based reference.

Include APA-formatted citations and a reference page.

Abuse and Neglect: Orientation Project


Federal Definition

According to federal legislation, child abuse and neglect refer to any action or inaction by a parent or a guardian resulting in significant bodily or emotive harm, sexual abuse, exploitation, or death (Child Welfare Information Getaway [CWIG], 2019-a). Child abuse and neglect also constitute risks of significant harm upon a child. The federal definition applies to a person under the age of younger than 18 and is not an emancipated minor.

State Definition: Virginia

Child abuse and neglect, according to Virginia law, is defined as inflicting or threatening to cause bodily/mental injury upon a child in a way that is not accidental or facilitating bodily harm/mental injury upon a child in a way that poses a significant risk of deformity, death, or bodily or psychological impairment (CWIG, 2019-a). The Virginian definition of child abuse and neglect apply to a child under parental or any person’s care.

Primary Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect

Primary prevention efforts are aimed at preventing abuse before it happens (CWIG, n.d.). Primary preventive initiatives emphasize public awareness of the extent and consequences of child maltreatment. Primary preventive strategies that are universal include, but are not limited to:

  • Public awareness campaigns of positive parenting, information accessibility, and report cases of abuse and neglect.
  • Education programs providing information on child development, expectations, roles and responsibilities.
  • Programs that strengthen families and provide access to child support services.

Secondary Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect

Secondary prevention focuses on populations with more than one risk of child maltreatment, including poverty, substance abuse, mental health concerns, and child disabilities (CWIG, n.d.). Universal approaches to secondary prevention include and are not limited to:

  • Parental education programs in institutions focusing on young parents and those abusing drugs.
  • Parental support groups to guide on daily parenting stressors.
  •  Home visit programs to support expecting and new parents and those whose children have special needs.
  • Established family resources centers for information and referral services.

Tertiary Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect

Tertiary prevention focuses on families with maltreatment cases, focusing on reducing the adverse consequences of maltreatment or recurrence. Universal approaches to tertiary prevention include and are not limited to:

  • Established preservation services for affected families.
  • Mentoring programs with peer families acting as mentors.
  • Parental support groups to instil positive parenting beliefs.
  • Mental health services to those affected.

Risk Factors of Abuse

The following are risk factors associate with increased incidences of child abuse and neglect include:

  • Child factors such as disabilities, age, gender, and mental health predisposes children to maltreatment. Adolescence, age and female gender increases the chances of abuse (Cozza et al., 2019).
  • Family factors, including substance abuse among parents, domestic violence, lack of parenting/communication skill, and parental experience with childhood abuse, increases their chances of abusing children as adults (Bartlett et al., 2017; Cozza et al., 2019).
  • Community characteristics such as poverty, violence, and unemployment contribute to child abuse and neglect (Cozza et al., 2019).
  • The society – Social factors, including limited awareness of child abuse and social acceptance of violence, increases incidences of maltreatment (Cozza et al., 2019).

Detection, Signs and Symptoms of Child Abuse and Neglect:

Signs and symptoms of abuse include (Prevent Child Abuse America (PCAA), 2016):

  1. Emotional
  2. Behavioural extremities, e.g., over complaining, passive, anger, and aggressive.
  3. Inappropriately adult/infantile.
  4. Slow physical/psychological development.
  5. Depressed/suicidal.
  6. Inability to establish emotional relationships.
  7. Parental actions also symptomize emotional abuse, including:
    1. Blaming/belittling a child.
    1. Pronouncing a child negatively.
    1. Rejecting a child exclusively.
  8. Behavioural
  9. Frequent absenteeism from school.
  10. Withdrawal from peers or daily activities
  11. Rebellious/defiant
  12. Suicide attempts
  13. Watchful of particular events or person.
  14. Parental behaviours showing behavioural abuse include:
  15. Diminutive concern for their child
  16. Inability to recognize child’s physical/emotional distress.
  17. Use of harsh disciplinary methods
  18. Limiting child’s contact with others
  19. Physical (Prevent Child Abuse America, 2018)
  20. Presence of unexplained injuries.
  21. Fading marks or bruises.
  22. Inability to approach adults.
  23. Changes in eating and sleeping patterns.
  24. Hostility towards pets and animals.
  25. Parental behaviours, as highlighted below, indicates child abuse:
    1. Provision of conflicting/unpersuasive explanation regarding
    1. Taking parenting as burdensome a child’s injury.
    1. Harsh child discipline

Intervention and Reporting Child Related Abuse in Virginia.  (CWIG, 2019-c):

  • Who can report?

In Virginia, anybody can report child abuse and neglect.

  • Who is mandated (legally required) to report?

Professionals legally mandated to report child abuse and neglect in Virginia include:

  • Persons aged above 18 and employed/associated with public/private entities/institutions/groups.
  • Licensed medical/ practitioners/ residents/interns/nurses/ professional staff.
  • Mental health personnel, social workers, legal officers, public officers/volunteers.
  • Court advocates, teachers, probation officers, or specialists for family services.
  • Where (To Whom) is Information Reported?

Child abuse and neglect is reported to Child Protective Services (CPS) staff in Virginia through a hotline (VDSS, n.d).

Treatment Resources in Virginia.

Examples of treatment resources available in Virginia include:

  1. Virginia Department of Social Services: Strengthen families by ensuring the safety, residency, and welfare of their children
  2. Council on Child Abuse and Neglect (COCAN): COCAN offers therapies for child abuse and neglect and prevention. Additional materials pertinent to the Council on Child Abuse and Neglect are included on its website.

Collaborative Resources for Abuse and Neglect Intervention and Treatment.

The VDSS’s Child Protective Services engages existing public and private networks on prevention of child abuse and neglect (VDSS, 2017-a). Some of the collaborating resources include:

  1. Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention (CBCAP):
    The Office of Child Abuse and Neglect (OCAN), Administration for Children and Families, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provide federal CBCAP funds to the VDSS. The funds are used to help create, operate, and expand community-based, prevention-oriented programs and activities.
  2. Healthy Families:
    Healthy Family is a nationwide program that carries its activities in Virginia to offer guidance to new and expecting parents. The program includes voluntary participation by families, visits and referrals to qualified staff.  
  3. Hugs and Kisses:
    Hugs and Kisses is a child sexual abuse prevention program for school going children in Virginia annually. Virginia General Assembly funds the program for awareness and prevention. The program provides safety messages to children in schools throughout the year.  

Additional Resources for Referral

National community outreach, education, and awareness programs include (VDSS, 2017-b):


Bartlett, J. D., Kotake, C., Fauth, R., & Easterbrooks, M. A. (2017). Intergenerational transmission of child abuse and neglect: Do maltreatment type, perpetrator, and substantiation status matter?. Child abuse & neglect63, 84-94. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2016.11.021

Child Welfare Information Gateway. (2019-c). Mandatory Reporters of Child Abuse and Neglect. Available at https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubpdfs/manda.pdf (Accessed 6 June 2021).

Child Welfare Information Getaway. (2019-a).Definitions of Child Abuse & Neglect. Available at https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubpdfs/define.pdf (Accessed 6 June 2021).

Child Welfare Information Getaway. (n.d.). Framework for Prevention of Child Maltreatment. Available at https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/preventing/overview/framework/#one (Accessed 6 June 2021).

Cozza, S. J., Ogle, C. M., Fisher, J. E., Zhou, J., Whaley, G. L., Fullerton, C. S., & Ursano, R. J. (2019). Associations between family risk factors and child neglect types in U.S. Army communities. Child maltreatment24(1), 98-106. https://doi.org/10.1177/1077559518800617

Prevent Child Abuse America. (2016). Fact sheet: Emotional child abuse. Retrieved from http://preventchildabuse.org/images/docs/emotionalchildabuse.pdf

Prevent Child Abuse America. (2018). Recognizing child abuse: What parents should know. Retrieved from https://preventchildabuse.org/resources/recognizing-child-abuse-what-parents-should-know/

Virginia Department of Social Services. (2017-a). Abuse and Neglect. Available at https://www.dss.virginia.gov/abuse/ (Accessed 6 June 2021).

Virginia Department of Social Services. (2017-b). Child Protectives Services (CPS) Prevention Services. Available at https://www.dss.virginia.gov/family/prevention/cps_services.cgi (Accessed 6 June 2021).

Virginia Department of Social Services. (n.d). Report Abuse or Neglect. Available at https://www.dss.virginia.gov/about/abuse.cgi (Accessed 6 June 2021).

Abuse and Neglect

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