Responding to a Child's Disclosure of Abuse

Best Practices for Responding

It can be very hard for children and young people to reveal abuse. Only a minority of children or young people actively disclose abuse. Often they fear there may be consequences. Some children and young people delay telling someone about abuse for a long time, while others never tell anyone, even if they want to. Most child abuse is disclosed accidentally or through observation by an adult of a child’s or young person's behavior, words and physical appearance. When a child does disclose abuse, this needs to be taken very seriously. Children value being believed and, as the adult they have chosen to tell, it's vital that any disclosure is dealt with appropriately.

Please review the document entitled Responding to a Child's Disclosure of Abuse. This document provides adults with best practices and helpful information for responding to a disclosure of abuse in a calm, assuring manner. Please use the Allegation Intake Form to document the disclosure of abuse.