Child Abuse:

Working with Abused & Neglected Children


Instructor Name:

Dr. Pamela Bernards, Ed.D.


Joan S. Halverstadt, MS/ED



Office Hours:

8 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST Monday - Friday



Virtual Education Software


23403 E Mission Avenue, Suite 220F


Liberty Lake, WA 99019

Technical Support:




Welcome to Child Abuse: Working with Abused & Neglected Children, an interactive computer-based instruction course, designed to help you identify and effectively teach students affected by child abuse and/or neglect. This course discusses the identification of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse; the impact of abuse on the behavior and learning abilities of students; the responsibilities of a teacher to report abuse or provide assistance to students who are the victims of abuse; and methods for teaching students about abuse of all types and its prevention. It also discusses the specific factors that exist in families who abuse or neglect their children. The 2022 course has additional sections on Childhood Depression and Suicide, on Child Trafficking, and on Substance Abuse to meet the requirements of Washington State’s RCW 28A.410.030 and WAC 181.79A.030. A major emphasis in this course is on helping the participant understand the special learning needs of the abused or neglected child, and how to meet those needs in the regular classroom. Working with parents and community agencies is also emphasized.


This course meets the child abuse and neglect educational requirement in most states. It is the responsibility of the student to verify the course content with your specific state professional licensing agency to ensure proper credit.


This computer-based instruction course is a self-supporting program that provides instruction, structured practice, and evaluation all on your home or school computer. Technical support information can be found in the Help section of your course.



Course Materials (Online)


Child Abuse: Working with Abused & Neglected Children


Virtual Education Software, inc. 2002, Revised 2010, Revised 2013, Revised 2016, Revised 2019, Revised 2022


Dr. Pamela Bernards, Ed.D.


Joan S. Halverstadt, MS/ED



Academic Integrity Statement

The structure and format of most distance-learning courses presume a high level of personal and academic integrity in completion and submission of coursework. Individuals enrolled in a distance-learning course are expected to adhere to the following standards of academic conduct.


Academic Work

Academic work submitted by the individual (such as papers, assignments, reports, tests) shall be the student’s own work or appropriately attributed, in part or in whole, to its correct source. Submission of commercially prepared (or group prepared) materials as if they are one’s own work is unacceptable.


Aiding Honesty in Others

The individual will encourage honesty in others by refraining from providing materials or information to another person with knowledge that these materials or information will be used improperly.


Violations of these academic standards will result in the assignment of a failing grade and subsequent loss of credit for the course.



Level of Application

This course is designed to be an informational course with application to educational settings. The intervention strategies are designed to be used for the remediation of abused or neglected students ranging in age from approximately three years to adolescence. Some alterations may be needed if working with specific populations such as gifted, ESL, or special education.



Expected Learning Outcomes

As a result of this course, participants will demonstrate their ability to:



Course Description

This course is designed to help classroom teachers, school counselors, and other educational personnel gain strategies to reach and teach students who have been affected by child abuse or neglect. Participants will learn the signs and symptoms for the three types of abuse (physical, emotional, and sexual) and the four types of neglect (physical, medical, emotional, and educational). Additionally, participants will learn the symptoms of childhood depression and suicidal tendencies, child sexual trafficking, and substance abuse, as well as how these issues are tied to child abuse and neglect. Participants will explore how abuse and neglect affect a student’s learning, cognitive brain development, and social-emotional development. The short- and long-term consequences of abuse and neglect, as well as the social and family causes, will be reviewed. The educator’s role in the intervention and prevention of child abuse and neglect will be discussed.


The course is divided into four chapters. Each chapter discusses a particular topic of abuse or neglect. The chapters are sequential and should be completed in the order they are presented. At the completion of each chapter, there will be an examination covering the material. Students must complete the examination before proceeding to the next chapter. This course is appropriate for educators seeking training in working with children ages 3–18 years, as well as professionals who work directly with families.


Although this course is a comprehensive presentation of the educational issues surrounding abuse and neglect, there is certainly a wealth of research and topics that are not covered in the scope of this course. The instructor highly recommends that you augment your readings from this course with further research to gain a fuller understanding of the complexities of this subject. However, the material presented in this course will give you a broader understanding of the topic of child abuse and neglect. It will also give you information to apply directly to your work with students in the classroom and community.



Student Expectations

As a student you will be expected to:

·         Complete all four information sections showing a competent understanding of the material presented in each section.

·         Complete all four section examinations, showing a competent understanding of the material presented. You must obtain an overall score of 70% or higher, with no individual exam score below 50%, and successfully complete ALL writing assignments to pass this course. *Please note: Minimum exam score requirements may vary by college or university; therefore, you should refer to your course addendum to determine what your minimum exam score requirements are.

·         Complete a review of any section on which your examination score was below 50%.

·         Retake any examination, after completing an information review, to increase that examination score to a minimum of 50%, making sure to also be achieving an overall exam score of a minimum 70% (maximum of three attempts). *Please note: Minimum exam score requirements may vary by college or university; therefore, you should refer to your course addendum to determine what your minimum exam score requirements are.

·         Complete a course evaluation form at the end of the course.



Chapter Topics

Chapter One: Introduction, History & Characteristics

This chapter will introduce the participant to the course topic by a discussion of the working definitions and the statistical magnitude of the problem of child abuse and neglect. A short history of how child maltreatment has evolved is included as well as a discussion of the educator’s role in the reporting, treatment and prevention of child abuse and neglect in society. This chapter will also discuss the family factors involved in the incidence of child abuse and neglect, including personal factors and environmental/societal factors. A discussion of how Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) affect both children and parents is included.


Chapter Two: Indications & Types of Abuse

This chapter will present the physical and behavioral signs and symptoms of physical and emotional child abuse. It will discuss the types of emotional abuse, and define and present the physical and behavioral symptoms of sexual abuse. It will also discuss the stages of normal sexual development as well as how to handle disclosures of sexual abuse.


Chapter Three:  Neglect: Types, Causes & Interventions

This chapter will discuss the physical and behavioral symptoms of the four types of neglect (physical, medical, emotional, and educational). The role patterns children of neglect often exhibit and the causes of neglect, including poverty, are presented.


Chapter Four:  The Effects of Abuse & Neglect

In this chapter, the long-term effects of child abuse and neglect on a child’s social, emotional, and personality development will be discussed. Youth with a history of abuse or neglect are highly susceptible to developing problems in the areas of substance abuse, juvenile delinquency, depression, or becoming a victim of child trafficking. The social and emotional traits of specific age groups of maltreated children will be discussed, as well as the effects of foster placement on the child and family. Also included in the final chapter, the information learned in the previous three chapters is applied specifically to methods for reaching and teaching students who have been abused or neglected. Barriers schools create for families are discussed as well as interventions for meeting the student’s physical, cognitive and social-emotional needs at school. The course ends with a discussion of the educator’s role in the intervention, treatment, and prevention of child abuse and neglect.




At the end of each course chapter, you will be expected to complete an examination designed to assess your knowledge. You may take these exams a total of three times. Your last score will save, not the highest score. After your third attempt, each examination will lock and not allow further access. The average from your exam scores will be printed on your certificate. However, this is not your final grade since your required writing assignments have not been reviewed. Exceptionally written or poorly written required writing assignments, or violation of the academic integrity policy in the course syllabus, will affect your grade. As this is a self-paced computerized instruction program, you may review course information as often as necessary. You will not be able to exit any examinations until you have answered all questions. If you try to exit the exam before you complete all questions, your information will be lost. You are expected to complete the entire exam in one sitting.



Facilitator Description

Joan Halverstadt is a retired Special Services Director and School Psychologist/School Counselor. She has 15 years’ experience as a school counselor, working with at-risk preschool and elementary aged students. Ms. Halverstadt has 50 years of experience working in early childhood education with children and families, including working with children affected by family issues, abuse, or trauma. She also teaches graduate education counseling and special education courses for teachers and counselors. She received her National Certification and School Psychology Educational Specialist degree from Seattle University, her School Counseling Educational Staff Associate Degree from City University, her Master’s in Education Degree from George Mason University, and her BA in Psychology and Elementary Education from Whitman College. Please contact Professor Halverstadt if you have course content or examination questions.



Instructor Description

Pamela Bernards has 30 years of combined experience in diverse PK–8 and high school settings as a teacher and an administrator. In addition to these responsibilities, she was the founding director of a K–8 after school care program and founder of a pre-school program for infants to 4-year-olds. When she was a principal, her school was named a U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon School of Excellence. More recently, the school in which she serves as curriculum coordinator was named a 2010 Blue Ribbon School. Areas of interest include curriculum, research-based teaching practices, staff development, assessment, data-driven instruction, and instructional intervention (remediation and gifted/talented). She received a doctorate in Leadership and Professional Practice from Trevecca Nazarene University.

Please contact Professor Halverstadt if you have course content or examination questions.



Contacting the Facilitator

You may contact the facilitator by emailing Professor Halverstadt at or calling her at 509-891-7219, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. PST. Phone messages will be answered within 24 hours. Phone conferences will be limited to 10 minutes per student, per day, given that this is a self-paced instructional program. Please do not contact the instructor about technical problems, course glitches, or other issues that involve the operation of the course.



Technical Questions

If you have questions or problems related to the operation of this course, please try everything twice. If the problem persists, please check our support pages for FAQs and known issues at and also the Help section of your course.


If you need personal assistance then email or call 509-891-7219. When contacting technical support, please know your course version number (it is located at the bottom left side of the Welcome Screen) and your operating system, and be seated in front of the computer at the time of your call.


Minimum Computer Requirements

Please refer to VESi’s website: or contact VESi if you have further questions about the compatibility of your operating system.


Refer to the addendum regarding Grading Criteria, Course Completion Information, Items to be Submitted, and how to submit your completed information. The addendum will also note any additional course assignments that you may be required to complete that are not listed in this syllabus.




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Zhao, J., Xiang, Y., Zhang, W., Dong, X., Zhao, J., & Li, Q. (2021, December). Child maltreatment affects depression and anxiety: The mediating role of emotional intelligence. International Journal of Mental Health & Addiction, 19(6), 2021–2030.


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11/9/23 jn