Criminal record checks can save you from lots of regrets and even irreversible consequences. Impatient, irresponsible, short tempered and negligent care givers can cause permanent damage or disability, and even death of a baby or kid. Before leaving your kid or baby with any baby sitter or daycare center, you want to be absolutely sure that the care provider / providers have a clean record / records and they are not involved in any kind of child abuse or other criminal activity. So called care providers have been blamed and found guilty of several criminal activities, ranging from sexual abuse to physical and psychological abuse.
Young kids and specially babies lake the ability to complain or properly report the abuse. Sometimes they may be too scared to report, even if they have the ability to do so. There are many many signs of abuse that a parent or parents must carefully look for. One or more of these signs may be present in a child who is being abused; depression, silence, reluctance to communicate, expressions like I hate him or her or that place, extreme resistance to go there or to be left with that person, bruises, pain, injuries, fractures, difficulty in or inability to perform routine and common tasks like walking, lifting things, bending, sitting, lying down, weakness and sickness, etc. There could be many other causes of one or more of these signs, but, you always want to exclude child abuse, in the presence of these signs.
You definitely want to figure out these problems long before it is too late or preferably, you want to prevent them right from beginning by running criminal and public record checks. Kids are helpless little people and we all know that many sick people, including priests can be easily tempted to abuse or neglect them.
This kind of abuse is not just limited to kids. Hospitals, psychiatric clinics, jails, rehabilitation centers and senior centers are also known for abusive practices. In short any weakness significantly increases a persons susceptibility and risk for abuse. If you are related to or friend of any person residing at any of these places, you want to be just as careful as the parent of a young child or baby.
All fifty states, District of Columbia and U.S. have certain mandatory child abuse requirements. There are certain standards set by federal laws and each state defines child abuse based on these criterions. Keeping children and families safe act of 2003 defines child abuse as:
“Any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation; or an act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm.”
Four major types of maltreatment are recognized by most states: neglect, physical abuse, psychological maltreatment and sexual abuse. NCANDS, National Child Abuse and neglect data system, “is a federally sponsored effort that collects and analyzes annual data on child abuse and neglect.” (ref. http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/pubs/cm09/cm09.pdf#page=4)
This report further states, “The data are submitted voluntarily by the States, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. NCANDS data are used for the Child Maltreatment report.
Once an allegation (called a referral) of abuse and neglect is received by a CPS agency, it is either screened in for further attention by CPS or it is screened out. After conducting interviews with family members, the alleged victim, and other people familiar with the family, the CPS agency makes a determination or finding concerning whether the child is a victim of abuse and neglect or is at-risk of abuse and neglect.
NCANDS collects case-level data on all children who received a CPS agency response in the form of an investigation response or an alternative response.
Case-level data include information on the characteristics of screened-in referrals (reports) of abuse and neglect that are made to CPS agencies, the children involved, the types of maltreatment that are alleged, the dispositions of the CPS responses, the risk factors of the child and the caregivers, the services that are provided, and the perpetrators. Restricted usage files of State case-level data are available for researchers from the National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect at http://www.ndacan.cornell.edu. The Child Maltreatment reports are available on the Children’s Bureau Web site at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/stats_research/index.htm#can.
During Federal fiscal year 2009, an estimated 3.3 million referrals, involving the alleged maltreatment of approximately 6.0 million children, were received by CPS agencies.
One-quarter of the CPS responses determined at least one child who was found to be a victim of abuse and neglect with the following report dispositions: 22.1 percent substantiated, 1.3 percent indicated, and 0.5 percent alternative response victim.
Three-quarters of the CPS responses determined that the child was not a victim of maltreatment with the following dispositions: 64.3 percent unsubstantiated, 8.7 percent alternative response nonvictim, 1.6 percent closed with no finding, 1.3 percent “other,” 0.1 percent intentionally false, and 0.2 percent unknown.
For 2009, professionals submitted three-fifths of reports.
The three largest percentages of report sources were from such professionals as teachers (16.5%), law enforcement and legal personnel (16.4%), and social services staff (11.4%).
Anonymous sources (8.9%), other relatives (7.0%), parents (6.8%), and friends and neighbors ;(4.9%), accounted for nearly all of the nonprofessional reporters.”
In the light of such a high incidence of child abuse, you can’t be too careful.
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