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First off it is important to note that services provided by Child Protective Services may differ based on state and locality. For this article I am going to work with information confined to the state of Oregon.
For any adult or aware individual one of the most heartbreaking scenarios to envision is coming upon a case of child neglect or abuse. You may think you understand how to recognize these situations based on things you have read or seen in the news or unfortunately been touched personally by an event. That being the case I am still betting that if and when the time comes you will have a gut reaction unlike anything you’ve experienced before. In front of your eyes is empirical evidence of neglect and/or abuse. That other-worldly detachment is all to real at that moment. At that instant you realize that you have a combined reaction of disgust, fear, concern, dismay, and either a call to action or an uneasy paralysis of conviction and motivation.
When should you call CPS?
- Clues > Certain behaviors are indicators of abuse or neglect. If you become aware of these indicators don’t ignore you instincts. A regularly outgoing child becomes withdrawn and sullen. A child who normally interacts with his peers now shies away from the group. Lack of appetite. The sudden onset of discipline problems in school and otherwise doing poorly in school. Granted, these indicators are not proof in and of themselves of anything except your keen observation that something is “different”. You must weigh the information you’ve accumulated and based on what you see and hear decide when the time to make “the call” has arrived. Obvious physical abuse should not be tolerated. Emotional abuse and neglect in other ways may be more difficult to ascertain. If you encounter this child regularly please pay attention to the signs.
- Do act if you have concrete evidence
- Do act if you are a mandatory reporter and you suspect neglect or abuse.
Do not act
- Do not act if your motivation is out of spite or some feud with the parent or guardian
- Do not act if you are not sure of what you have observed. Perhaps you have misinterpreted an event. Be confident in your ability to relay proof of suspected neglect or abuse. Even in this case if your gut is telling you that something is wrong, trust your instincts.
- Don’t let fear of your identity being reported stop you from making “the call”. Most states allow for anonymous reporting to CPS. It is common that your name will not be released to the family involved.
- Don’t fear the fact that those investigating your report will need to have your contact information as they investigate.
In the face of an obvious emergency call 911
or your local CPS reporting hotline.
Deciding whether it’s time to call or not is a decision only you can make. It is always better to err on the side of protecting a child from harm than worrying about making a “mistake”. Children in abusive situations are rarely able to ask for help. As with most children they are dependent on the adults in their life who are responsible for their care. Your call could be a lifeline to a better life.
If you’d like more information about Child Protective Services and the reporting process, I’ve pulled some articles for you. Here are the links:
- When Should You Call CPS On Someone?, via Parenting
- What Are The Indicators Of Possible Child Abuse and Neglect?, via DoRightByKids.org
- Oregon Child Protective Services
- Oregon Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Phone Numbers
- About Reporting Abuse and Neglect in Oregon State
- Mandatory Reporting of Abuse and Neglect in Oregon – Who is a mandatory reporter?
By Gret Boyd
I would suspect that any person who has ever been responsible for caring for a child has at one time or another encountered the dreaded tantrum. Tantrums run the gamut. They can crop up when a child is overtired or overstimulated causing them to act out. Perhaps it’s the tad bossy child who wants to control a situation. Sometimes it’s a child determined to do something or possess something. Each scenario is different as is each child’s way of orchestrating their drama fest.
As a parent or caregiver we all come to know our kid’s way of being. We recognize the cues leading up to drama and we eventually learn some tactics to combat an out of control situation. Inevitably there will come the time or two or three or more when your child gives in to the urge to be in total control. At that moment they have no self control. The only force working is the desire to have or to do what they have their sights set on. Don’t think logic or reason will work when in the throws of this type of drama. It’s a whole new ballgame and you have to scope out your opponent and come up with a fresh game plan on the spot. It’s a time to realize that quitters never win. Read the rest of this entry »
Recently I’ve heard stories about the way our kids are getting along in the “real world”. Not my kids, all kids. I’ve heard tales from a college source and tales from the job world. While some kids are doing just great others have not yet mastered what today’s reality is all about. I’m not talking about current events, I’m talking about dealing with day-to-day expectations and basically being self-reliant and able to cope with the “stresses” of daily life.
I’m not here to judge, only pass along some info that might give parents a different perspective on the outcome of some of the ways you are nurturing your kids. Here are a few examples: Read the rest of this entry »
Great article from Green Child Magazine…
Originally posted on June 13, 2013, by Amanda Hearn
Technology is growing and changing just as quickly as our children. With constant exposure to screens, it’s only natural for a parent to be concerned about what all this screen time is doing to our children.
What can technology addiction look like?
- She can’t entertain herself without electronics.
- Disconnecting him results in tantrums or high level of irritation.
- She develops a negative attitude towards spending time in nature.
- He can’t manage guidelines surrounding electronics.
Older kids are entering a digital world with social issues connected to cyber bullying with texting, social media, adult content websites, and violent video games. We are just beginning to learn the trickle effect of advanced time spent connected to screens and children plugged into technology.
As a parent – and the one who buys devices, games, and apps – you control your child’s access to technology. Sometimes things get out of hand before we realize what happened. Don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s never too late to reframe your family’s technology rules.
1) Don’t view your phone as a shut-up toy. When my oldest child was repeatedly asking for my phone I explained that I didn’t want to shut him up. I always wanted to hear his thoughts. That conversation (and a few reminders) ended the habit he had formed of always asking for my phone out of boredom.
2) Free range your children! The summer months are ideal for getting outside more and sitting in front of a screen less. This is the best tip for that older 10 year old who can’t get enough video games. Give them the freedom to free-range with a friend, visit a local park, or just to explore! Start with smaller time intervals and let them enjoy exploring the neighborhood on their own. As a mom learning to encourage free-range play, it’s difficult to not feel panic at first. I stay positive by thinking of free-range play as a gift I can give my children to help them grow and discover the beauty of play and nature through their own eyes and experiences.
3) Insist on electronic-free play dates. We’ve all seen the effect of one child pulling out an ipod and suddenly all social interaction is lost with a group of children. Request that electronic gadgets don’t accompany guests or play dates when you are hosting.
4) Have a child that doesn’t like nature? Rekindle their love by including low-level technology to help enhance their connection. Have an old digital camera? Children love to take pictures and you can create amazing eye-spy games and hunts. Another tool to getting kids outdoors is geocaching. It’s a digital style treasure hunt that involves either a GPS or just following clues and instructions. Time spent in nature is incredibly important – if you need to take baby steps to get kids outside, every little bit counts.
5) Look at your own habits. What example are you teaching children with your relationship to electronics? When you have idle time – how do you spend it? If you are checking your phone and needing constant stimuli, it might be time to wean yourself down from your own technology addiction. Need something to keep hands busy and productive? Take up a hobby. Watch yourself through the eyes of your child and show them that you are willing to detox from electronics too.
Sometimes we need to reevaluate technology and the huge advancements and accessibility to understand how connected we’ve become. There’s no app that can replace the importance of play and time spent in nature.
Here’s a great article from the American Red Cross…
Health officials report most of the country is battling a widespread outbreak of the flu and are urging people to get vaccinated now if they haven’t already done so.
With so many people sick, the American Red Cross has steps people should take if they are caring for someone who has the flu.
The flu virus spreads from person-to-person in droplets of coughs or sneezes. The virus can also spread if a person touches droplets on another person or object and then touches their own mouth or nose before washing their hands. To prevent the spread of the flu virus, it is important to remember to wash your hands and cover your cough or sneeze.
WASH YOUR HANDS Washing hands properly is an important step to avoid getting the flu.For visibly soiled hands, first wash with soap and warm water. When using soap and water:
- Wash for at least 20 seconds, covering the entire hand including fingernails and under jewelry.
- Rinse and dry thoroughly with a disposable towel.
- Use the towel to turn off the faucet.
- If using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer:
- Rub thoroughly over the entire hand, including nail areas and between the fingers.
- Continue to rub until the product dries.
SNEEZING AND COUGHING If someone has to cough or sneeze, they should cover their mouth and nose with a tissue and wash their hands afterwards. If they don’t have a tissue, they should cough or sneeze into their elbow or upper arm, not their hands.
TAKING CARE OF THE SICK If caring for someone who has the flu, people should:
- Disinfect door knobs, switches, handles, toys and other surfaces that everyone touches.
- Use detergent and very hot water to do dishes and wash clothes. It’s okay to wash everyone’s dishes and clothes together. They should wash their hands after handling dirty laundry.
- Designate only one adult as the caregiver. People at increased risk of severe illness from the flu should not be caregivers.
- Deal with crisis situations calmly and confidently to give the best support to the person being cared for.
- Remember their own needs as well. Practice healthy habits. Eat a balanced diet. Drink plenty of water. Get regular exercise. Get enough sleep and rest.
If someone is ill, they should:
- Stay in a room separate from common areas of the home and avoid contact with others as much as possible.
- Stay at home for at least 24 hours after their fever is gone without using medicine to reduce the fever.
- Get lots of rest and drink plenty of fluids.
- Consider wearing a facemask, if available and tolerable, when sharing common spaces with household members.
- Check with their healthcare provider about whether they should take antiviral medication, or if fever persists, whether antibiotics are needed.
Information on what to do if someone has the flu is available as part of the freeRed Cross First Aid mobile app available for iPhone and Android devices.You can find more information about how to help keep you and your loved ones protected by visiting redcross.org/FluTips.
Came across this article online. Interesting discussion about the best age to start an infant on solid food. What do you think? Any comments? Share…
By Rachael Rettner, MyHealthDaily Staff Writer / LiveScience.com
In the study, 40 percent of mothers said they gave their infants solid foods before the age of 4 months, which is earlier than recommended. About 24 percent of mothers who breast-fed, and 53 percent of mothers who formula-fed, gave their babies solid food too early. Read the rest of this entry »
I caught this segment on ABC’s Good Morning America this morning. Apparently a ‘thigh gap’ is the latest must have in order to have the “perfect” body. This obsession is rampant among teens and I’m sure tweens too. Unfortunately, these girls don’t realize that 99.9% of the photos they see in magazines have been retouched to death. OK, some women are born that way. I would venture to guess that the majority of us were not. If nothing else this article will give a parent a heads-up on a potential body image issue.
What is your family’s narrative? Are there stories passed down from generation to generation? The following article will make you realize the importance and impact of your stories about family struggles and success. You’ll come to realize it’s the glue that binds your family together and helps each member realize their place in a legacy that’s bigger than themselves.
Thanks to a very hard fall onto the wooden arm of a couch when I was very little, under two years old, I had all of my front teeth pulled. Needless to say it was a very different kind of face I showed the world for many years to come. I had no front teeth until my second set of teeth finally came in. With great empathy for the topic of this article I just came across, I am sharing some important information about dental injuries in young children.