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Pregnancy & Parenting Home > Parenting

Parenting Issues: False Accusations of Child Abuse

It is a sad fact that child abuse happens every day. It is also the reason so many countries employ protection services for children. Unfortunately, many of the agencies responsible for protecting children don't do a very good job. We often hear about children harmed while in "care," but the part we don't hear about as often is the many parents that are falsely accused of abuse or neglect.

In the U.S., there are approximately three million reports of maltreatment each year. This number is often reported as three million actual cases of abuse, even though over two million of these reports are consistently unsubstantiated, and this number has remained fairly consistent over the past decade. This information is documented by the National Clearinghouse for Child Abuse and Neglect Information. If over two thirds of the cases reported are unproven, that tells us that there are a large number of false accusations.

One reason for this problem is the fact that reports can be made anonymously. Even though there are laws against making false reports, how are parents going to pursue action against someone, when the reporter's identity is kept from them?

Another problem is mandated reporting. Professionals that work with children are required by law to report every suspicion that something might be wrong. They can lose their jobs, their licenses, be fined, and be brought up on criminal charges if they fail to report. Because of this, many of them over-report. They would rather report every scraped knee than take the chance of being held liable.

Most parents assume that their innocence will be proven during an investigation. They believe they have nothing to worry about because they don't abuse or neglect their children. Unfortunately, there are many families that have been torn apart by abuse investigations, even though the parents are innocent.

There are several parents' rights groups and family rights organizations working hard to make these laws and agencies more family friendly. If you find yourself the victim of false allegations, search for one of these groups online to find help and support.

Related Links:

Tips to Build Self-Esteem in Your Child

Make learning enjoyable

Teaching children to say 'Thank You'

Star Chart - Encourage Good Behavior

Teaching your child the importance of money

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