Children need a safe and nurturing environment to grow and learn.
Child abuse is defined as any act of commission or ommission by a parent or guardian which would endanger or impair the child's physical or emotional well-being or that are judged by a mixture of community values and professionals to be inappropriate.
Child abuse includes:
• Physical Abuse
• Sexual Abuse
• Emotional and Psychological Abuse
Report suspected child abuse
Reporting suspected child abuse is the first step in preventing or stopping the abuse. MSF investigates child abuse cases to prevent further harm to the child.
To report suspected cases of child abuse, please contact the following agencies:
Child Protective Service Helpline: 1800-777 0000
Child Protection Specialist Centres
Monday – Friday 9.30am – 5.30pm
Big Love Child Protection Specialist Centre
Monday – Friday 9.00am – 6.00pm
Investigation and action against child abuse
The Children and Young Persons Act is the legal basis for the protection and intervention by relevant authorities for a child (below the age of 14) or a young person (from 14 years to below 16 years of age) that is abused or neglected.
MSF co-ordinates the professionals involved in the child abuse investigation. MSF organises case conferences for discussions and knowledge sharing to make informed decisions on cases.
Child protection and welfare services
MSF also arranges the protection and welfare plans for the child. Professional assistance is provided to the family at the same time.
MSF places victims under a care programme to help them cope with the trauma. In some cases, this involves placing children into Children’s Homes or under foster care.
As far as possible, children should stay with their families in a stable and conducive environment. Only when families become dysfunctional or unsafe for their members, intervention is needed to ensure that the children are put in a safe and secure place for their well-being.
National Standards for Protection of Children
MSF has developed a set of standards for child protection work. The National Standards for Protection of Children defines the service standards and service delivery framework for partners in child protection.
The book is also available from Family and Child Welfare Branch, Rehabilitation and Protection Group (RPG), MSF.