The Case of an Elementary Boy Claiming Abuse
The Case of an Elementary Boy Claiming Abuse
In this case study, I am interviewing an 8-year-old boy who is in elementary. He lets me know that his mother has been physically abusing him at home and these incidents have taken place on more than one occasion. After informing my supervisor, she assured me she would meet with the student to further assess the situation. My supervisor insists that the boy always makes this claim to the new interns that come now and then. Because of this, I feel there is a possibility that she will not file an abuse claim with the state. On the other hand, I believe there is sufficient reason to file a report based on what the boy told me.
As an intern instructor tasked with safeguarding the boy’s well-being, my next step is to involve a third party to ensure the child gets all the help that she requires. I believe that as an instructor, my ultimate responsibility is to the child and no one else. As such, I will do all that it takes to keep him safe. The fact the boy opened up to me that his mother was abusing him physically was a cry for help. If I fail to take necessary action, I would never be at peace with myself. This is why I would be willing to go against my supervisor and talk to the school Principal or any other third party who will see to it that the state department of children is made aware of the incident so they can get to the bottom of the matter. Although going behind my supervisor’s back to report the issue to a higher authority is unprofessional, in special cases such as this, where the child’s life could be in potential danger is justifiable. I would choose to let the state department know about the child’s claim as child abuse tends to have a serious impact and can ruin the lives of families and children easily. In this case, I am only left with two options; following my supervisor’s lead and hoping that she will take the necessary action or taking the initiative and reporting the incident and abuse claims to the children’s department myself. In this case, I would decide to go with the latter. I would bring on board the principal to the elementary school to explain the situation and file a report with the state department of children. At the end of the day, teachers have a mandate to report any cases of suspected child abuse that they might run into. This means that as an instructor-intern, it is my duty to let the state department know if I have any suspicions of maltreatment.
There would be many benefits to contacting the state department of children on my own. One is that I would be helping rescue a boy that is in potential danger of even more harm. If it is true that the boy’s mother has been beating him, then this is bound to take a toll on the boy’s emotional and social well-being. The boy might be suffering in silence, and reporting the issue to the children’s services independently can help him access the help he needs. Victims of physical abuse tend to suffer emotionally, which explains the need for psychosocial support. The Children’s Department is best placed to help the boy deal with the trauma from the abuse as they have a team of qualified sociologists trained to help him overcome the ordeal. I strongly believe that contacting the children’s department is the right thing to do as they have the best available resources at their disposal to determine whether the boy is a victim of abuse and also because it is the right thing to do. Just because my supervisor says that the boy has a trend of saying his mother is harassing him to every new intern does not mean that the claim might not be true. At least, the boy’s complaint should be enough reason to investigate a matter. There is a lot of benefit in giving the boy the benefit of the doubt and believing that he is a victim of abuse.
While reporting the incident to the children services s the right thing to do, there are various reasons pointing to why calling them is not a good idea. For starters, if the claim turns to be a force there is the burden of incriminating the parent and interrupting a disrupting a cohesive environment. Another reason for not calling the children’s services is that there is no physical proof of abuse, such as unexplained bruises, unusual interest in physical violence, and inappropriate clothing does not exist. However, the fact that there are no signs of violence does not take away from the fact that the boy’s claim might be legitimate.
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