Describe signs, symptoms, indicators and behaviours that may cause concern relating to: domestic abuse, neglect, physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse

Qualification: NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Educator
Unit: Unit 2.2: Understand legislation relating to the safeguarding, protection and welfare of children
Learning outcome: Understand how to respond to evidence or concerns that a child has been abused or harmed
Assessment criteria: Describe signs, symptoms, indicators and behaviours that may cause concern relating to: domestic abuse, neglect, physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse

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There are several signs and symptoms that may be indicative of domestic abuse, neglect, physical abuse, emotional abuse or sexual abuse. It is important for Early Years practtioners to be aware of these signs.

Signs of neglect can include :

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  • poor personal hygiene
  • always tired or lethargic
  • constant hunger
  • -unattended medical needs

Signs of physical abuse can include:

  • bruises or injuries in various stages of healing
  • burns
  • broken bones
  • welts or swelling
  • fearfulness or anxiety around certain people or situations

Signs of emotional abuse can include:

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  • fear and anxiety
  • depression
  • lack of confidence/self-esteem
  • difficulty making and maintaining relationships or acting in an age-appropriate manner
  • aggression and difficulty managing emotions

Signs of sexual abuse can include:

  • Pain or discomfort in the genital area
  • Tearing or bleeding in the genital area
  • STIs
  • Bloody underwear
  • Difficulty walking or sitting
  • Nightmares or bed-wetting

Signs of domestic abuse can include a mixture of the signs of physical and emotional abuse above, as well as aggression, bullying and other anti-social behaviours.

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It is important to note that signs and symptoms will vary from child to child and may not be present in every case. If you have any concerns about a child in your care, it is important to speak to your manager or designated safeguarding lead.

The NSPCC website has several resources for learning more about the signs and symptoms of abuse and neglect.

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