Child Abuse and Neglect – Our Role and Responsibility
According to the New Brunswick Child Victims of Abuse and Neglect Protocols, “children have basic rights and freedoms no less than those of adults, children have the right to live a life free from abuse and neglect and … communities share responsibility for protecting children” (Section 1.3, Government of New Brunswick, 2005). The protection and safety of children is everyone’s concern and at Reaching for Rainbows, we are committed to protecting children and helping them grow and develop in the absence of abuse or neglect. It is, not only our moral, but also our legal obligation to report any suspected case of abuse
Types of Child Abuse
The New Brunswick Child Victims of Abuse and Neglect Protocols (2005) identifies and defines four types of abuse. All four types are subject to intervention under the Family Services Act.
Sexual Abuse refers to any sexual act involving a child and a parent caretaker, any person in a position of trust, and/or any other person.
Physical Abuse refers to all actions resulting in non-accidental physical injury or harm.
Physical Neglect refers to acts of omission on the part of the parent/ caretaker. This includes failure to provide for the child’s basic needs and appropriate level of care with respect to food, clothing, shelter, health, hygiene, and safety.
Emotional Maltreatment refers to both emotional abuse and emotional neglect of the child.
Reporting Child Abuse
The protection and best interests of children prevail over the interests of parent(s)/guardian(s) or families when cases of child abuse are reported or investigated. The first concern of both the police and Child Protection Services is the protection of the child.
No proof of abuse is needed, only a suspicion based on observations that have been made. When it is suspected by any staff that a child may have been neglected or abused, the matter shall be referred immediately to Child Protection Services (CPS) of the Department of Social Development. The following information will be provided to the Child Protection Worker:
- child’s complete name, birth date and address
- parent(s)/guardian/caretaker(s) name(s) and address
- details of the suspected abuse or neglect
- the name of the person who identified the suspected abuse/neglect, along with her/his address and telephone number
- the name and address of the facility and the name of the director
**We do not have authority to interview a child, nor to contact the child’s parent(s)/guardian(s).