Discuss whether the conduct of Christenson and Wilde is child abuse (a crime), child neglect (child welfare issue), or both? In your discussion, explain what each of the terms means and how the conduct of either/both adults fall Into the categories of abuse and/or neglect. Note that there are 4 children involved, aged 9, 4, 2, and 3 months. Your explanation may/may not differ depending on the age of the child.
Child Abuse or Child Neglect
To go for the discussion of child abuse or child neglect by the Christenson and Wilde, it is a need to understand the concepts of child abuse and child neglect. Sometimes these two concepts are used interchangeably which is wrong and hence there is a lot of difference between the two coined terms. Child abuse is harming a child in a sexual or physical or in emotional way; child neglect, on the other hand, is the point at which a child is being neglected through, not having the adoration and consideration, nourishment and education, and so on (Children Bureau, 2016). Child abuse is understood more easily when contrasted with the child neglect and they both effect the development of a child (Kepple, 2017).
In the case under discussion, I believe that it is the case of both child abuse as well as child neglect. Child abuse is related to the case because of its physical harm towards the children involved (Kepple, 2017). On the other hand, child neglect relates to providing no attention and love for children (Kepple, 2017).
Children Bureau pronounced that physical abuse is usually characterized as any unplanned physical damage caused to the child and also sometimes comprises of the burning, kicking, striking or biting the young one, or all such activities that leads to the physical harm or underdevelopment of the child (Children Bureau, 2016). Hence, this case is truly a case of child abuse as Wilde caused the physical abuse to three of her children under the age of 5 through making them drug addicts in so much early age which cause their developmental delays and cognitive growth issues. The father of Children, Christenson, was also criminal in this case because of offering felony to her wife. Additionally, the article shows that “While still in the hospital, Christenson and Wilde crushed up Suboxone — a prescription pain medication used for pain management and addiction treatment — and rubbed it on the newborn’s gums in an effort to hide the signs of a drug addiction from hospital staff” (Stilson and Egan, 2017; para. 24). The case should be against them for physically abusing their three younger children but not for the 9 years old son.
Secondly, the case needs to be also against them regarding the child neglect. Children bureau defines child neglect as the parents’ malfunction or any other caretaker’s malfunction regarding the children’s responsibilities for offering not only the food, dresses and the shelter but also the needed medical care, as well as the level of supervision for ensuring that there is no harm caused to the well-being, safety and health of the children (Child Bureau, 2016). In this case, the children are being neglected as the article states that “It’s a disturbing case… where four young children …. who should be growing up in a nurturing, loving, caring, environment and protected from harm, are being harmed by those who should be providing that environment” (Stilson and Egan, 2017; para. 11). Additionally, the older son of 9 years declare that usually when the kids woke up late at night, they are all alone as parents would be gone. Hence, declaring that the case is purely the case of child neglect and neglect is for all the four kids as 9 years old also face the neglect along with the three younger children of ages 4 yr, 2ys and 3 months.