Learning to identify the signs of child abuse

More than 900 doctors, law enforcement officers and social services employees were in Dover Tuesday night, for the Child Abuse Recognition and Reporting Summit at the Sheraton Dover Hotel.

“The most important aspect of this is just to provide guidelines to identify, and report, for the medical providers as well as these other professionals, but also we need to share consistent messages to the community about what mandatory reporting of child abuse is and to try to educate the public on the signs of child abuse and neglect,” said Department of Services for Children Secretary Vivian Rapposelli.

All of this training is in accordance with House Bill 457, signed by Governor Jack Markell in 2010, which mandates such training.

“But it also gives us an opportunity for the legal, social services community and the medical community to come and talk about the importance of collaboration and the teamwork across our respective disciplines,” said Rapposelli.

Rapposelli says the goal was to educate the public on how to report and access the resources they need when they think they see signs of abuse.

Those signs, Rapposelli says, may not necessarily mean bruises or marks on a child.

“A child… may be hungry, who is not being well taken care of, who looks disheveled, who is falling asleep in the classroom… there are other symptoms there that people can look for.”

Gov. Jack Markell, Attorney General Beau Biden and several other state leaders representing various state agencies were in attendance.

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