Dealing With Child Abuse Or Neglect Disclosure

Dealing With Child Abuse Or Neglect Disclosure

Tips from a child's perspective:

Use words I will understand -Always use age-appropriate words

Never say you'll keep this a secret - Never promise the child that you will keep what they tell you a secret. 

Don't tell everyone - Although you cannot promise to keep the information a secret, you should assure the child that you will not share this information with her peers or anyone who really does not need to know about it to keep her safe.

Explain you still care about them- Reassure the child that what she told you will not change the way you feel about her or him.

Disclosure may be difficult for them - Always keep in mind how difficult it has been for the child to tell you this. 

Reason they might share:

  • They may have been threatened not to tell.
  • They may feel embarrassed or ashamed.
  • They may have tested others and decided it was not safe to disclose.
  • They will be watching your reaction very carefully.

 If appropriate, let the child know you will be calling DCFS and explain that it is the job of DCFS to keep children safe.

Find out answers for me - The child will probably have lots of questions about what will happen that you cannot answer. Don't make up an answer. It's OK to tell the child that you don't know what will happen. It may help to tell the child that you know this is hard for her.

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