Maltreatment and Neglect
Here are some key physical and emotional indicators.
Physical Indicators of Maltreatment and Neglect or Emotional Maltreatment
- Failure to thrive (physically or emotionally)
- Positive drug toxicology, especially in newborns
- Lags in physical development
- Consistent hunger, poor hygiene and inappropriate dress for the weather
- Speech disorders
- Consistent lack of supervision for extended periods, or in dangerous situations
- Unattended physical problems or medical needs
- Chronic truancy
Child Behavioral Indicators
- Begging or stealing food
- Extended stays at school (arriving early or staying late)
- Constant fatigue, listlessness or falling asleep in class
- Alcohol or drug abuse
- States there is no caretaker
- States that domestic violence or intimate partner abuse is going on in or outside of the home
- Runaway behavior
- Habit disorders such as sucking, biting, rocking, etc.
- Conduct disorders such as antisocial behavior, destructive behavior, etc.
- Neurotic traits such as sleep disorders, inhibition of play
- Psychoneurotic behaviors such as obsessions, compulsions, phobias or hypochondriasis
- Exhibits behavioral extremes (aggressive, demanding, compliant, passive)
- Overly adaptive behavior, such as being inappropriately adult-like or infant-like
- Mental or emotional developmental lags
- Attempts suicide or gestures, self-mutilation
Adapted from: Identifying and Reporting Child Abuse and Maltreatment/Neglect: Mandated Reporter Trainer’s Resource Guide. New York State Office of Children and Family Services: CDHS/Research Foundation of SUNY/BSC (2009).