UNDERSTANDING MALTREATMENT

By the end of this workshop participants will be able to:

  • Define maltreatment and list the four types of maltreatment
  • Recognise indicators of each type of maltreatment
  • Explain the impact of maltreatment and family violence on children and young people
  • Identify ways to support a child or young person who has experienced maltreatment or family violence
  • Demonstrate an appropriate response to a disclosure of abuse
  • Develop a plan to minimise repeated intergenerational maltreatment.

The first session is aimed at introducing participants to the types of maltreatment and familiarises participants with a range of indicators for each type of maltreatment. It is important that participants realise though that indicators are just flags of possible maltreatment – and are not a sign that maltreatment has definitely occurred. It will look at why knowing indicators may be helpful to carers and factors that may contribute to child abuse.

The second session looks at signs of family violence and explains what is has got to do with children and young people and how it affects them. The session then moves into looking at the effects of abuse, neglect and family violence on children and young people and begins to address what children and young people need to heal from their experiences.

The third session looks at what is the most helpful thing for a carer to do, if a child in their care discloses abuse and what to avoid at all times. This will help them to think about how they could better prepare themselves if they were ever in that situation. The session also looks at the importance of recording and reporting a disclosure of abuse and participants will have a chance to practice this. Finally, a brief overview of the process that follows a reported disclosure will be covered.

In the last session participants will be introduced to the cycle of intergenerational maltreatment and family violence. This will help them understand how having experienced abuse or neglect as a child, places a child at an increased risk of committing abuse as an adult on their own children. The group will then explore at what points of the cycle they have some influence as a carer – so as to help break the cycle of intergenerational maltreatment for that child or young person in their care.

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