They are meant to act as general guidelines for identifying the possibility of each type of maltreatment. Actual child maltreatment, as well as the perpetrator's identity, can be determined only after a thorough response and investigation.
Children who possibly are maltreated may:
- Be aggressive, oppositional, or defiant
- Cower or demonstrate a fear of adults
- Act out, displaying aggressive or disruptive behavior
- Be destructive to self or others
- Come to school too early or not want to leave school, indicating a possible fear of being at home
- Show fearlessness or extreme risk-taking
- Be described as "accident prone"
- Cheat, steal, or lie (may be related to too high expectations at home)
- Be a low achiever
- Be unable to form good peer relationships
- Wear clothing that covers the body and may be inappropriate in warmer months, such as wearing a turtleneck sweater in the summer (Be aware that this may possibly be a cultural issue instead.)
- Show regressive or less mature behavior
- Dislike or shrink away from physical contact (e.g., may not tolerate physical praise, such as a pat on the back).