The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) defines child abuse and neglect 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.”
Reporting a family for abuse or neglect should not be done lightly. However, if you have reasonable cause to believe that abuse or neglect are occurring, please report it. You may make a positive impact in a child’s life by doing so.
When abused children are educated at home, their parents can isolate them to an extent not possible when children attend school. As a result, the lives of abused children who are homeschooled can be different from those of abused children who attend public school.
The first step toward helping is learning to recognize the signs of child abuse or neglect. The presence of any individual sign may not mean that there is abuse or neglect; when these signs appear repeatedly or in combination they suggest the need for a closer look.
While many abused children may be frightened to tell someone about the abuse, or may even be unaware that what is taking place is not normal, some abused children may confide in an adult they consider “safe.” If you are that adult, you should know how to respond.
In some cases social services may not be able to find enough evidence of abuse to intervene; in other cases family members may choose not to report. What else can someone do for children in bad homeschool situations? This list of 40 ways to help was compiled from suggestions made by homeschool graduates who grew up in bad situations themselves.