Child protection is a concern for many parents and civil administrators educators, and public safety officials working today. It’s a sad fact of life that due to the constraints of a free society, vigilance in child protection must be exercised to prevent abuse and mistreatment.
Child protection laws and enforcement must be exercised to keep children safe. In the home this can mean installing fixtures and hardware on cabinets, safing firearms in coded lockboxes, putting plastic covers on electrical outlets. And keeping abreast of product recalls for infants and children’s furniture and clothing.
These days child protection laws can range from everything from law enforcement guidelines regarding reporting a lost child in a nationwide network of media outlets, to notification of residency of sex offenders moving into the neighborhood, to attentive observance of community norms and activities.
Child protection is not a constant in every home and in every neighborhood. The headlines sadly are full of people who leave their children locked in cars, abuse them, or other unmentionable interactions. Only community awareness and intervention can stop child abuse and harm to young persons.
Child protection can start in the home, at school, in the community or in church or recreation programs. Church leaders, youth coaches, teachers, and other adults and parents can be trained to spot children in danger or those possibly being abused. Literature and training courses can groom these community awareness leaders to recognize problem signs and act appropriately.
Child protection can range as far as placing children if foster care, reporting suspected abuse or mistreatment of minors to state or local child protection services, or on an individual basis personal involvement. Most programs, advocates, and professionals agree that often on the part of a concerned observer, doing nothing is the worst circumstance in child protection.
Experts suggest counseling before making any kind of child protection intervention on a personal level, and point to examples where involving a church or community leader, or other trust person with access to all parties will work well.
Often there is a shared goal to keep a family together while serving child protection prerogatives. Family based models of counseling and other programs to address cases of child abuse can serve child protection goals without attendant burdens on psychological welfare.
Child protection systems and group procedures are motivated by primary goals. These goals are to inform the family that help is available, assist them to find the resources they need, and supply or support the family bridge the risk behavior toward the children to a better way of living.