Different kinds of child abuse support exist for individuals who are concerned that a child is being abused, for parents of children who were the victims of abuse, and for child victims themselves. The resources available generally depend on the area where the abuse takes place. Many countries have detailed laws that address the problem of child abuse, mandate certain people as reporters of suspected child abuse, and offer comprehensive services to abuse victims as well as abusers and potential abusers.
Many countries recognize the serious problem of child abuse and the vulnerability of children. As a result, they've instituted special laws and programs to help prevent child abuse and to protect children. In some of these countries, certain individuals who are in positions where they may regularly be in contact with children, such as teachers, social workers, and clergy members, may be considered mandated reporters who must report any instance of suspected child abuse to government authorities. Mandated reporters who do not follow through on this responsibility to report suspected abuse may themselves receive disciplinary action. Child abuse support services often make available special hot-line numbers that mandated reporters can call, and mandated reporting laws often protect these reporters from legal consequences for making a report in good faith, even if it is later determined to be unfounded.
Child abuse support is also available for parents of abused children. If the parent is an abuser or fears that he is at risk of abusing his child, he may be able to receive intervention services such as counseling and anger management classes. If the parent suspects that another parent is an abuser or that her child has been abused by another person, that parent can obtain child abuse support services that can provide advocacy within the legal system as well as counseling for the family and the child victim.
Children who have been abused are often legally entitled to protection from their abusers. If it is not safe for them to remain in their home, they may be placed in a foster home, with relatives, or in an institutional setting. They may also be provided with counseling services through social-welfare agencies. If a child remains in his home, a caseworker may be assigned to him so that his situation and safety can be monitored on a regular basis. Adult survivors of child abuse may also be able to receive counseling services and support.