The American Humane Association states that in 2005 there was an estimated 3.3 million referrals of child abuse and neglect received by public social services. Confirmed victims of child abuse or neglect were 899,000 children. The United States Department of Health and Human Services confirmed this in 2007.
I think about the times I have heard reports of parents selling their children to drug dealers. This type of practice is horrifying to hear.
I recall that I was at a function. During that time, a woman at this function left her little ones in the car while she was at the function. Immediately someone went to the manager and demanded that they do something. If they did not do anything, she was calling the police. Well the woman did leave and took her children with her. I wonder what was going through the woman’s mind when she left her small children, one of which was a baby, in the car. Did she consider their welfare or was she just thinking of what she wanted at the time? Did she need a break away from her children? Was this her way of getting time alone for just her?
I recall when new neighbors moved next door to me several years ago. I discovered a book bag, clothing and shoes in my backyard. I thought this was strange. Several things went through my mind. Someone was breaking and entering into houses and needed a change of clothes. On the other hand, someone was doing drugs and did not want to carry the book bag with them.
I discovered the things belonged to a boy living next door. My first response was to call the police. Then I thought I would talk to the parents first and see what is going on. Well when I went to talk to the parents, the mother's response was, “Oh you found him.” “Where was he at?” I told her, “I did not know he was missing.” I just found the bag and clothing. She then thanked me and sort of ushered me out of the house. I thought, “She does not know where her child is. He looked about 14 or 15 years and was in High School. There was another incident where the bag and clothing appeared in my backyard again. This time I called the police. When the police came, the boy was hiding on top of my garage. They took him next door and talked to the parents. There were no more incidents after that, except, I found out the parents were on drugs and I saw them being evicted. I knew something was wrong, but had been clueless up until now. The parents needed help to help their children. Sometimes as neighbors, we are so busy going about our own business that we neglect to see others problems that might be right in front of us.
The government prevention program talks about how service providers can help parents to help the children. Some of the programs include parent support groups, fatherhood resources, parenting education, and parenting resources.
Some of the Parent education programs suggested by the child welfare government prevention program were 24/7 Dad and Anger Management Toolbox for Parents. Fathers are equally important as the mother in raising children. Although there are many single parent homes, a good father figure can help. The 24/7 program is a program available online that talks about fatherhood.
If a parent feels overwhelmed, they can always call the National Parent Help line 1-855-427.2736. At the following link, you can also find resources in your state:
There are those parents that react to their children out of anger that they felt for something totally unrelated to the child. Anger management programs can help parents deal with that anger.
Support groups are great too. Parents can seek support groups in their area or start a support group.
Parenting education is necessary. Education is the key. People will do better when they know better. In this century, many parents are working and leaving their children home alone. There was mention in my city at one time to start enforcing curfew for children, because 11-year-olds and possibly younger were out walking the streets at late hours of the night. Were their parents working? Were the parents even aware?
CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) is a Court appointed advocate for abused or neglected children. These volunteers volunteer 10-20 hours per month for at least 1 ½- 2 years. Court Appointed Special Advocates are volunteers that work with the community, parents, teachers, relatives, neighbors, and foster care parents. Court Appointed Special Advocates are thoroughly screened. Volunteers must produce letters, written application, personal interviews, and have a criminal background check. The criminal background check, I feel, is an essential part of appointing a volunteer. These are a few of the ways to prevent child abuse.