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Short Answer Questions and Case Studies About Child Protection Legislation and Practices

Short answer questions

Part A - Short answer questions
Student instructions
•    Answer the following eight questions.
•    Your responses may be recorded or presented in a written format. Written responses for each answer should be approximately 100 words in length. The written responses may be presented in narrative or bullet point format.
•    To answer questions accurately, you may refer to child protection legislation in your state or territory, other applicable legislation such as the National Quality Standard and Education and Care Services National Regulations, along with the Belonging, Being and Becoming – The Early Years Learning Framework, the Early Childhood Australia Code of Ethics, policies and procedures common to early childhood education and care services, position descriptions detailing an educator’s duty of care responsibilities, and/or other sources such as professional readings along with the course textbook and identified key resources.
•    Ensure you acknowledge and cite your sources accordingly. This is important whether you use your own words or quote the author’s words. For more information on referencing and plagiarism, refer to the ‘Academic reference guide’ in the Student Handbook.
•    When referring to organisational policies and procedures or position descriptions please submit with your assessment to support your answer.

Short answer questions
1.    In your own words, define the term ‘’child abuse’’?
Child abuse is when a person such as an adult or a guardian mistreats then through neglect, beating, and/or sexual molestation.
2.    What are some possible signs, symptoms or indicators that a child is witnessing domestic violence at home? Identify six that you may observe in an early childhood setting.
Headaches, stomach aches, cold sores, bed wetting, short attention span, deficit hyperactivity disorder, fatigue, personal hygiene, developmental delays.
3.    How would you act on a suspicion of child abuse when there has been no disclosure?
I would document what I see before making any formal report. I would also discuss with my colleague staff and the manager of my centre and request assistance in what we should do to take further actions.
4.    Why is it important to write down your concerns in an accurate, objective, non-judgemental and timely manner about a situation of possible child abuse or neglect?
It's important to write down your concerns so that your information is as accurate as it could be used in a court of law and your ethical/moral judgment will only hinder the case as the evidence can be seen to be tainted/bias. It's also important to document this information as fast as possible because these situations can be very time sensitive and you want to ensure the safety of your child. Only facts are to be documented and nothing else. No opinions or he said she said stories.
5.    When dealing with suspected or alleged child abuse why is it important not to disclose or use the information in a way that breaches confidentiality?
It's important to keep the child's information confidential at all times as you have a duty of care for the children in your care and you are legally bound to uphold their confidentiality at all times. It's important not to make the child's situation worse than it already is and by disclosing personal information to a third party you might be inadvertently harming the child further. You are allowed to disclose the information of a child if it is in the line of performing official duties under legislation.
6.    Provide two examples of open and non-leading questions that you could use if a child tells you that they have been abused. Give a brief explanation explaining why you would use the questions.
Ask questions with a How, What, Who, When, Where. Do not make the questions specific in any way.          
How did it happen?
You want to know how it happened so you want to make sure not to put any words in the child mouth by including things such as. Who hit you on your leg.
Who was there? You want to know if there were any other people there such as mum or dad or any other family members but you don't want to ask the child that might lead him in saying yes or not to any of your questions. Don't say was your mother there?
7.    How can you, as an educator, protect yourself against a vexatious or unfounded claim of abuse against one of the children in your care?
Ensure that you remain professional around the children you work with at all times. Never lose your temper and always remain as calm as you can in front of any children in your care. Strive to always have staff members witness any situation that might arise. Ensure appropriate contact with the children in your care at all times.
8.    Describe four child-focused practices you can routinely employ in your role to uphold the rights of the child and that encourage children to participate in age-appropriate decision making.
•    communication skills
•    awareness and sensitivity to children and young person's needs
•    inclusiveness of children and young people in participatory decision-making process
•    making special allowances to met needs of children and young people
•    ways of engaging children and young people
Case studies

Case study 1
Tamara is a four year old girl who has attended your service for three years.  
Tamara’s mother is a firm believer in alternative medicine and has had her homoeopathically immunised.  Tamara rarely attends in clean clothes and doesn’t possess a schoolbag, lunchbox or drink bottle.  Her morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea are sent in a plastic shopping bag and usually consists of fruit, yoghurt that is out of date, unwashed and unpeeled vegetables such as carrots and pre-packaged “organic” biscuits.  
At meal times you have observed her trying to grab the other children’s food to eat and you have begun providing her with food from the service’s kitchen to supplement her diet. Her hair is rarely washed or brushed and on some mornings she has been brought into the service in her pyjamas.  On these occasions her mother has declared that Tamara wanted to have “pyjama day” today and she couldn’t be bothered arguing with her.  
During the course of this past year you have noticed the Tamara has been falling behind in both her expressive and receptive language skills.  She appears to be “lost” at times in the classroom and is having trouble following directions.  
Over the last couple of weeks she has started acting aggressively towards the other girls, especially when they are interacting in home corner.  Tamara often tugs at her ears and complains that her ears are hurting her.  You suggest to her mother that it might be worthwhile having Tamara’s ears and hearing checked because you suspect that she may be experiencing problems with an ear infection or ‘glue’ ear.
Her mother agrees to do this straight away, but fails to make an appointment with a doctor.  Instead, she visits a ‘healer’ who has prescribed ‘ear candling’ to resolve Tamara’s ear problems.

Answer or complete the following tasks:
1.    What type(s) of abuse or neglect do you think might be occurring?
2.    Use the table below, or similar, to list the indicators of abuse or neglect for the type identified.
3.    Who, in your service, would you discuss your concerns with?
4.    How could you work with Tamara’s family to resolve the issues relating to her hygiene, health and diet? (Describe 3 strategies).
5.    What external agencies or services could you contact to support Tamara and her family? (Identity 3 government or non-government agencies or services)
Case study 2
Ace is a 3 year old boy who has attended your service two days per week since he was 9 months old.  You have always observed Ace to be a very bright and happy child who is affectionate with both the children and educators at the service.  
Recently, Ace, has become very clingy with his mother when she leaves the service, grabbing her legs and crying for her to take him with her. Ace’s mother is bewildered at this change in his behaviour as he previously used to wake up each morning asking, “Kindy today?” and expressing delight when she confirmed it was a kindy day.  She also stated that he doesn’t like going anywhere without her and turned on such a fit when she went to go to the hairdressers last week that she ended up taking him with her.  
Although toilet trained for the last six months, Ace has started to have ‘accidents’ and refuses to use the toilet. His mother has reported to you that he is chronically constipated and that it hurts him to empty his bowels, so she has put him back in nappies.
One day, while you are outside cleaning out the guinea pig cage, Ace comes and stands next to you and watches.  He sits on your lap and you start to talk about the guinea pigs and what pets you would like to own. In the course of your conversation, Ace tells you that he doesn’t want to go to his grandmother’s house anymore, even though she has chickens. He tells you that his uncle makes him pat his bunny every time he goes there and that he doesn’t like it. You ask him if the bunny scratches him or bites him, and Ace tells you that it can’t, but it really hurts him. This doesn’t seem to make sense, so you get a piece of paper and have Ace draw you a picture of the bunny. Ace draws a picture of a man’s genitalia surrounded by pubic hair and tells you “That’s the bunny”.
Answer or complete the following tasks:
1.    What type(s) of abuse or neglect do you think might be occurring?
2.    Use the table below, or similar, to list the indicators of abuse or neglect for the type identified.
3.    Who, in your service, would you discuss your concerns with?
4.    Who wouldn’t you tell about your concerns?
5.    Describe how you would respond to Ace during his disclosure. For example, what would you do during the disclosure, how would you talk to Ace, how would you support and comfort him and what would you avoid doing or saying. Ensure your response is in accordance with your work role and organisational policies and procedures.
6.    Identify the actions you would take after the disclosure that will ultimately work towards protecting Ace’s rights. Ensure the steps are in accordance with organisational policies and procedures, and your state or territory’s reporting process.
7.    How would you continue to support Ace and maintain his trust?


The abuse that might be occurring with Tamara is coming from her family as they seem to be neglected about her behavior.

The concerns can be discussed with the supervisors of the service and then it will be decided whether it will be informed to Tamara’s parents. If Tamara’s parents still tend to be negligent towards their child’s behavior then the authorities of the service might have to look deeper into the matter.

The three strategies that can be helpful in resolving Tamara’s issues related to health, hygiene and diet are: strengthen economic support to Tamara’s parents; provide quality care and education early in her life and enhancing parenting skills to promote healthy child development. But the issues will be discussed with the director as in how to approach Tamara’s parents so that they do not get a misconception. Then a meeting with Tamara’s parents will be fixed in order to discuss the issues. Family engagement by preschool enrichment and a better quality of life through legalization and licensing would provide a firm base for the quality of life that is expected for Tamara. Parenting skill, family relationship approaches and early childhood home visit would encourage the parents to have a healthy upbringing of their child (Fortson, 2016).

The external agencies that could help Tamara are: Australian childhood foundation, NAPCAN (National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect) and Child wise.

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