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Child Protection and Legislation

University: London Metropolitan University

  • Unit No: 14
  • Level: Diploma
  • Pages: 9 / Words 2276
  • Paper Type: Case Study
  • Course Code: N/A
  • Downloads: 18984
Question :

This sample will let you know about:

  • What are the effects of emotional abuse on a child's development?

  • Give examples of induced illness in cases of physical abuse and parents' typical responses.

Answer :


Every nation within UK holds the responsibility of formulating its policies as well as laws that hover around education, social-welfare and health. Laws are frequently formulated for prevention of behaviour that could harm a child. This also has inclusion of required actions that keep children same from any harm. As per the current statistics, near about 57,000 children have been found out who need to be protected from abuse in UK (Johns, 2017). In response to this there are nearly about 93,000 children under care within UK. So the report will throw light upon various aspects of child abuse in UK as well as the associated legislation for protection of children against any harm caused.


At a given time a could be made subjected to more than one forms of abuses. The child abuse can be classified into four official categories that have been briefly discussed below

Emotional Abuse

This type of abuse is usually found out in between the relationship that exists among a child and his/her parent/carer. This is instead not an outcome of patterned events or either a specific event. This usually occurs when needs such as approval, consistency, affection and security are not met. All these come under the category of developmental needs. The manifestation of child abuse could be found out by the behavioural, affective, cognitive or either the way of physically-functioning of a child. Some common examples include : insecure-attachment, unhappy, lower self-esteem, underachieved education.

Sexual Abuse

This type of abuses occur when a child is forced to take part in sexual activities despite considering that whether they are aware or not. The examples include acts of violence, inappropriately touching, making them watch inappropriate sexual-activities. In such abuses both males and females could be found to solely perpetrate them.

Physical Abuse

Such abuses usually result in actually or potentially harming a child physical way by lesser interactions, which comes under control of parents or any other responsible or trusted person. There is a possibility that either single or multiple repetitive incidents could occur. Examples of such abuses include either induced or fabricated illness. Symptoms of such abuse could not be clearly explained by aid of medical tests and usually are observed by a parent/carer when they pay visit to their child at hospital.


It could be described within the terminology of omission in which children suffer from either impaired development or any other sort of significant-harm. These abuses occur because of being deprived from having food, clothes, warmness, safety, supervising, getting attached towards affection provided from adults or providing medical-care. For example, not providing adequate nutrition to child may affect his/her height or weight which might turn out to be significantly lower than it should be. If child has been consistently deprived from intellectual-simulation then he/she might be missing the classes in school.

Defining 'Harm' and 'Significant-harm'

The ill-treating of or impairing health/development of child comes under harm. Determining whether the harm is significant or not is done by comparing him/her with another child of same age on the parameters of development & health. When the well-being of a child along with his/her development is getting affected in a severe manner then, significant harm's threshold is reached.

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Indicators of Emotional Abuse

  • There is an observable delay in development.
  • When child has failed to get attached to someone.
  • The child is behaving in aggressive manner towards other individuals.
  • The lack of self-esteem and confidence within the child.
  • When child is being seen as a loner and faces difficulty while trying to relate with other children or individuals.
  • When he/she is being scapegoated in their family.

Commenting on the fact that these are indicators of emotional abuse, a crucial part is involved. These indicators are often found out to hurt the inner self of children that at times makes them depressed. The reason that these indicators are abuse is because the child is being emotionally affected by certain events occurring in their lives. They get affected in adverse way which is a type of abuse only. These are found out by the behaviour shown by children. Also, this behaviour could turn out to be an indicator of another type of abuse as well.

Indicators of Sexual Abuse

  • When there is in-appropriable sexual-conduct.
  • When the child has sexual-knowledge which is very inappropriate considering their age.
  • When the children harm themselves or attempt to suicide.
  • They are not able to concentrate properly and face problems in learning methods.
  • They are anxiously unwilling to their clothes for attending any event such as sports or other.
  • When paining of genital areas of a child is observed.
  • When blood traces are found out on the under-clothes of child.

Both types of gender in children could be found out out to be the victims of sexual abuse (Ferguson, 2011). The inappropriate acts done to a child affect their physical health and poses a impact on their behaviour as well. The child is unable to cope up with extra curricular activities and does not effectively takes part in any other conversations with friends or family.

Indicators of Physical Abuse

  • When bruises are observed on body of a pre-crawling babies.
  • When fractures that is swelling of a body part of child is observed.
  • When trauma is observed.
  • When in X-Ray a bone is found out to be infected.
  • When internal injuries are seen after consulting the doctor that causes a lot of pain.
  • Because of a parent's negligence children ingesting tablets could turn out to be domestic poisoning.
  • Marks of bites, burns or any scars are observed over the body of child.

Such abuses affects the child's body in an adverse manner. The child could possibly lose their certain abilities of walking, talking etc. because of such an abuse. Such abuses could also possibly cause death to a child if severe injuries are observed.

Indicators of Neglect

  • When the child is significantly shorter or is under-weighted than he/should be as per the chronological-age.
  • When the skin of child is found out to be either in poor condition it is coldly mottled.
  • When the swelling of the limbs is observed.
  • The sores and cuts are not able to be healed quickly.
  • When poor diet is given to children which might cause diseases such as diarrhoea.

Act of neglecting often causes some serious problems or diseases to a child. However, these acts of neglect are very difficult to observe. Act of neglecting often affects the health of child. So in order for finding them, proper health and social care professionals should be considered.


Civil-law and criminal-law are the two broad categories of legislation that cover child-protection. Civil law has been further divided into public and private laws. Under public-law risks imposed on children are minimised and also the required action which has to be taken when child is found under risk. On the other hand, private laws allows the professionals to carry with the family proceedings. The criminal-law deals with individuals who offend against children. Keeping all these in mind, NSPCC was formulated in 1884 in order to influence and draft the legislation for protecting the childrens.

Existence of laws regarding child-abuse has been observed at local, federal as well as state levels. The federal government in the year 1974 passed the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), and in 2010 reauthorized it. Under this legislation, all the children are assured to be treated in an ethical, legal as well as fair manner. This act also protect a child from any form of emotional, physical, neglect and sexual abuses.

The currently followed child protection system is on the basis of The Children Act of 1989. It formulates a list of details regarding local authorities the methodology that court shall adopt for protecting the child's welfare. Its section 31 enables the NSPCC (National Society For Prevention Of Cruelty To Children) necessary power to directly imply court's orders if as per it, any child is likely to suffer significant harms (Child protection in the UK, 2017). The act defines the 'harm' as a type of ill-treatment or impaired/develpment health. But no specific claims have been mentioned about 'significant-harm'. So, its the court's responsibility for deciding what could possibly be a significant harm by observing each an every aspect of case. Furthermore, Acts such as the Criminal Justice and Immigration, 2008, causes the people who sexually abuse children, face the prosecution in UK. In addition the children are also provided necessary justice as well as protection regarding sexual abuses by The Sexual Offences Act of 2003.

A certain set of professionals are established as mandatory-reporters by aid of mandatory reporter laws. If any sort of abuse is suspected to be occurring on a child, then mandatory laws enables the people closely working with children within their profession, to alert the police. Also these laws have further stated that penalties will be there if failure is observed in the reporting of abuse.

For filing a lawsuit, statue of limitations provides the deadline. According to this, lawsuit should be filed within the time limit as soon as the crime has been occurred or discovered.

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Yasmin always wants to be in charge of her activities. This makes her go into a state of distress when other children do not follow her. This trait of behaviour might be a possible outcome or indicator of emotional abuse. If any children does not listen to her, she suddenly gets aggressive which is an indicative of dealing with stress or fear that she might be neglected by other children. Her inappropriate behaviour from the past 3 months is possible indicative that she is definitely suffering from some kind of abuse in the nursery. This could be said so because she for long hours watches TV and also in her art works, she keeps on drawing circles. As defined by the sexual abuse definition in UK, there is possibility that Yasmin could have watched some inappropriate content that have caused such a behaviour. Henceforth, general manager should carry on further investigation and if any case of sexual abuse is found out then, as per the Sexual Offences Act, necessary prosecutions should be carried out.

Also, as stated by Yasmin to Vicky, she is tensed about the relationship of her mother and her boyfriends. She is emotionally getting abused which is directly affecting her behavioural traits. There is a possibility that her mother's friends have been sexually abusing her or ill treating because of which she is showing this concern So this could possibly come under both physical and sexual abuses. Also, she might have seen them fighting which have emotionally impacted her. Also, the abusive behaviour shown by her towards the other children could be the possible result of emotional abuse being faced by her.

The symptoms which are currently observed in case of Yasmin are a result of emotional abuse and if proper investigation is carried it is possible that a case of sexual abuse is also to be there. So, NSPCC shall be consulted to directly do the prosecution in court under the clauses of CAPTA, The Sexual Offences Act, Criminal Justice and Immigration Act, The Children Act (Humphreys and Absler, 2011). The clause of Sexual Offences Act and Criminal Justice and Immigration Act shall be used only if necessary evidences and in case evidence are not found Yasmin could be treated in proper way so that she confesses her reason for such behaviour.


In every possible manner child should be provided protection from any sort of abuses. The legislations of UK are pretty much effective enough to carry on with the prosecution of such cases. Filing of case should be immediately done within the deadline as the discovery of any such child-abuse is observed. In addition, every citizen must try to be aware about their surrounding environment. They should immediately alert police if any sort of child-abuse is observed so that children could be provided a safe environment that prevents them from any harm.


  • Been, J. V., and et.al., 2014. Effect of smoke-free legislation on perinatal and child health: a systematic review and meta-analysis.The Lancet.
  • Darlington, Y., Healy, K. and Feeney, J. A., 2010. Challenges in implementing participatory practice in child protection: A contingency approach.Children and Youth Services Review.32(7).
  • Ferguson, H., 2011.Child protection practice. Palgrave macmillan.
  • Stafford, A., and et.al., 2011.Child protection systems in the United Kingdom: A comparative analysis. Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
  • Johns, R., 2017.Using the law in social work. Learning Matters.
  • Humphreys, C. and Absler, D., 2011. History repeating: Child protection responses to domestic violence.Child & Family Social Work.
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