Caring for Our Children (CFOC)

Chapter 1: Staffing

1.4 Professional Development/Training

1.4.5 Specialized Training/Education Child Abuse and Neglect Education

Content in the STANDARD was modified on 5/22/2018

Caregivers/teachers are mandatory reporters of child abuse and neglect. Caregivers/teachers should attend child abuse and neglect prevention education programs to educate themselves and establish child abuse and neglect prevention and recognition guidelines for the children, caregivers/teachers, and parents/guardians. The prevention education program should address physical, sexual, and psychological or emotional abuse and neglect. The dangers of shaking infants and toddlers and repeated exposure to domestic violence should be included in the education and prevention materials. Caregivers/teachers should also receive education on promoting protective factors to prevent child maltreatment. (Child maltreatment includes all types of abuse and neglect of a child under the age of 18 by a parent, caregiver, or another person in a custodial role (e.g., clergy, coach, teacher, etc.) (1).  Caregivers/teachers should be able to identify signs of stress in families and assist families by providing support and access/referral to resources when needed. Children with disabilities are at a higher risk of being abused than healthy children. Special training in child abuse and neglect of children with disabilities should be provided (2). 


Risk factors for victimization include a child’s age and special needs that may require increased attention from the caregiver. Risk factors for perpetration include young parental age, single parenthood, many dependent children, low parental income or parental unemployment, substance abuse, and family history of child abuse/neglect, violence, and/or mental illness (2,3).  Caregivers/teachers should be aware of these factors so they can support parenting practices when appropriate. Caregivers/teachers should be trained in compliance with their state’s child abuse and neglect reporting laws. Child abuse reporting requirements are available from the child care regulation department in each state (4). 


Child abuse and neglect materials should be designed for nonmedical audiences.


Education is important in identifying manifestations of child maltreatment that can increase the likelihood of appropriate reports to child protection and law enforcement agencies (5). 


Child abuse and neglect resources are available from the American Academy of Pediatrics at, the Child Welfare Information Gateway at, Prevent Child Abuse America at, and The Early Childhood Learning & Knowledge Center at


Center, Early Head Start, Head Start, Large Family Child Care Home, Small Family Child Care Home
RELATED STANDARDS Prohibited Caregiver/Teacher Behaviors Health and Safety Education Topics for Staff Recognizing and Reporting Suspected Child Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation Immunity for Reporters of Child Abuse and Neglect Preventing and Identifying Shaken Baby Syndrome/Abusive Head Trauma Care for Children Who Have Experienced Abuse/Neglect Facility Layout to Reduce Risk of Child Abuse and Neglect Content of Policies Training Record
  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Child abuse and neglect prevention. Updated April 17, 2017. Accessed March 8, 2018

  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Violence prevention. Child abuse and neglect: risk and protective factors. Updated April 18, 2017. Accessed January 11, 2018

  3. Fortson BL, Klevens J, Merrick MT, Gilbert LK, Alexander SP. Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect: A Technical Package for Policy, Norm, and Programmatic Activities. Atlanta, GA: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 2016. Accessed January 11, 2018

  4. US Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children’s Bureau. Child Maltreatment 2014. Published 2016. Accessed January 11, 2018

  5. Admon Livny K, Katz C. Schools, families, and the prevention of child maltreatment: lessons that can be learned from a literature review. Trauma Violence Abuse. 2016;pii:1524838016650186


Content in the STANDARD was modified on 5/22/2018