Nobody sees a flower, really

–it is so small we haven’t time

and to see takes time.”

-Georgia O’Keefe

They are looking to you for help.

They are looking to you for help.

The Needs Of Abused And Neglected Children

Being a successful parent to any child is a challenging task, and caring for children in substitute care can be truly complicated and demanding. Foster and adoptive parents assume responsibility for meeting the needs of the children they accept into their homes. To parent a child in foster care or in adoption is more challenging, especially when the child comes into care as a result of neglect or abuse. In order to meet the needs of these children, substitute parents must clearly understand the following:

  • Abused and neglected children have the same basic needs as all children.
  • As members of a group of children who are being cared for outside the home, abused and neglected children also bring a special group of needs.
  • The needs of children in foster care are different from those of children in adoption.
  • The effects of abuse and neglect usually create additional needs that may require special therapeutic interventions.
  • Each child brings into care a unique set of individual needs that are a result of that child’s genetic heritage, birth experiences, cultural identity, and past life experiences.

Basic Needs of All Children

Early childhood developmental theorists speculate that newborn infants, protected and nurtured in utero, enter the world with the expectation that this kind of care and protection will continue. Birth brings about a sudden change in environment. Because humans are born virtually helpless, they require a longer period of dependent caretaking than do the young of any other species. Very quickly, the infant begins to develop an awareness that the meeting of its needs depends on someone independent from him/herself. If its basic needs are not met by its caretakers, the infant soon becomes anxious about what will happen to him/her.

If a child is to survive and achieve satisfaction during adulthood, the following six basic needs must be met during infancy and childhood:

  • security,
  • nurturance,
  • stimulation,
  • continuity,
  • reciprocity, and
  • value orientation.

It is critical that the child has all of these needs met. Although it is difficult to arrange these needs hierarchically, the need for security is clearly the most important.

Volunteer Your Time to Change a Child’s Life

Nobody longs for a safe and loving family more than a child in foster care. As a CASA volunteer, you are empowered by the courts to help make this dream a reality. You will be the one consistent adult in these children’s lives, vigilantly fighting for and protecting their fundamental right to be treated with the dignity and respect every child deserves. You will not only bring positive change to the lives of these vulnerable children, but also their children and generations to come. And in doing so, you will enrich your life as well.

Child Abuse and Neglect

Recognizing, Preventing, and Reporting Child Abuse

Abuse Help Center
Child Abuse

Child abuse is more than bruises and broken bones. While physical abuse might be the most visible, other types of abuse, such as emotional abuse and neglect, also leave deep, lasting scars. The earlier abused children get help, the greater chance they have to heal and break the cycle—rather than perpetuating it. By learning about common signs of abuse and what you can do to intervene, you can make a huge difference in a child’s life.

Understanding child abuse and neglect

Child abuse is more than bruises or broken bones. While physical abuse is shocking due to the scars it leaves, not all child abuse is as obvious. Ignoring children’s needs, putting them in unsupervised, dangerous situations, or making a child feel worthless or stupid are also child abuse. Regardless of the type of child abuse, the result is serious emotional harm.

File an Endangered Child Incident Report


File a Person of Interest Report

If you suspect someone of crimes against children, know someone who may have evidence of crimes against children, or recognise a Wanted Person from our image arrays, please complete the form below with as much detail as possible. We may want to speak with you further and ask questions about your suspicions, or about the person you suspect. Please note that we do not typically handle matters of individual domestic child abuse within the home. Jurisdiction for such cases lies with your local police or child protective services authority.


Start your own Child Advocate Organization in your town.  Contact the following organizations to find out how.


Intelligence, Interdiction & Justice