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Child Protection Case Study

Related Topics: Violence Abuse Courts Family

Pages:6 (1880 words)



Topic:Child Abuse

Document Type:Case Study


NRS311 – Life Stage Considerations: Child, Adolescent & Family Health

Assessment Task Two: Child Protection Case Study


Young people and children are the most vulnerable groups in society. As a Registered nurse in NSW, I can identify, consult others, and respond to situations where a young person or a child is at risk of harm. Some of the common reasons that predispose young people and children to risk include family and domestic violence, sexual, emotional, and physical neglect. In Fiona's case, the important risk of harm is neglect (NSW Government, 2018b). Fiona burnt part of her feet on the heater three days ago. Susanna, on noticing, cleaned the wound using tap water. She applied papaw ointment and covered it with an adhesive bandage. In this case, the most significant risk is neglect. Under the circumstances, a question suffices to ask where the mother was when Fiona, a three-year-old, got burnt.

Summary of MRG Answers

The Main Concern: Clothing /hygiene. You are a healthcare expert. A child or young person has been diagnosed and found to have sustained a serious condition caused by poor hygiene and clothing. The parent of the case is not willing or simply unable to provide a solution to the problem.

Currently, it is the mother who takes care of Fiona. Fiona's father is serving a jail term. Susanna's mother-in-law could have helped, but all her time is tied up with work. The worry I have is the excellent care that Fiona needs may not be forthcoming. Susanna, Fiona's mother, cannot provide such care because she has two other children to take care of, apart from the daily house chores to attend to. Therefore, the central concern is supervision.

Child Protection Discussion

The law states that children and young people have the right to be kept safe in the homes and families they live in. These homes and families should be devoid of violence and abuse. While it is a crime to abuse a child, it is still an issue of concern in Australia (WHO, 2002). Neglect is defined as a situation where the caregiver cannot provide the child with the primary things to enable such a child to grow in a state of well being. A child needs to be provided with food, shelter, healthcare, including dental care, proper supervision, and parental love.

In the definition given by WHO (2006, 10), neglect constitutes a pattern of failing to care and provide a child with the necessary material and psychological needs for their proper growth and development and wellbeing; when the parent can provide the same such as:

· Health

· Emotional development

· Shelter and secure living environment

· Education

· Nutrition

In Australia, neglect warrants protection by the state (CFCA, 2016). Such cases present challenges to child-protection officials. They are difficult to process through court, especially when the impact is low but frequent. It is a different situation when it is of high impact and not done frequently. The challenge is in demonstrating that there is a relationship between parental behavior and the outcomes of the child.

Similarly, courts find it unjust to declare a parent as neglectful when they are poor but struggle to meet ends. Indeed, the NSW expressly declares that the courts cannot declare that a child's basic needs have not been met or likely not to be met as a result of the parents' economic situation or other disability. In a situation where the parent is not able to provide because of circumstances, the…

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…· Report cases where the unborn are likely to be at risk of neglect and abuse

· Continue with healthcare provision as the cases are processed

· Report to community services and the children's court where there are requests for health services

· Respond to calls from the police and community service personnel to carry out medical examinations

· Help out in proceedings of the children's courts when called upon to do so.


Young people have a right to be kept safe in their homes and around the community. They should be raised in an environment free from violence and abuse. It is criminal to neglect children and abuse them, but the practice goes on in Australia. The present case might be a candidate for child neglect. There is a lot of evidence pointing at neglect, including the fact that there was no compliance with provisions of healthcare, failure to seek medical help, deprivation of food, and the child's apparent inability to thrive physically. Other points of worry include exposure of such children and young people to drugs and insufficient protection from environmental hazards. Furthermore, inadequate supervision, abandonment, poor hygiene, and lack of providing education have been viewed as evidence of neglect. It is thus incumbent upon the RN to take the necessary steps as provided by the law and the MRG. The RN complied, in this instance, through the identification of possible signs of abuse, violence, neglect, and prenatal harm. They consulted with the NSW Reporter Guide to help in the first decision-making and reported the suspected risk of harm to the Child Protection Helpline. The case under review incorporated both neglect and circumstantial factors that precipitate the incidences of neglect. Fiona was burnt as a result of both negligence and factors that…

Sample Source(s) Used


Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC). (2010). Family violence: A national legal response. Canberra: ALRC.

Child Family Community Australia (CFCA). (2016). Australian legal definitions: When is a child in need of protection? (CFCA Resource Sheet). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

New South Wales Government. (1998). Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998.

NSW Government, (2018a). Child wellbeing and child protection fact sheet for NSW Health workers. Retrieved from

NSW Government, (2018b). About child protection and wellbeing. Retrieved from

WHO (2002). "Chapter 3: Child abuse and neglect by parents and other caregivers." World report on violence and health. Retrieved from

World Health Organization. (2006). Preventing child maltreatment: a guide to taking action and generating evidence. Geneva, WHO.

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