Westmoreland Children First

Child Abuse Prevention

Raising Awareness About Child Abuse Prevention

An ongoing WCF goal is child abuse prevention. We support WCCB efforts to publicize this crucial part of the Bureau's mission.

What is child abuse?

If a parent or caregiver—whether by acting or failing to act—causes injury, emotional harm, or even risk of serious harm or death to a child, this is child abuse.

WCF actions to help prevent child abuse

  • Sponsored public service announcements on a regional radio station during Child Abuse Prevention month (April).
  • Placed a full-page ad in the Westmoreland Chamber of Commerce magazine about child abuse prevention.
  • Placed refrigerator magnets in public areas informing how to report suspected child abuse.
  • Distributed stickers to organizations and businesses to raise awareness of child abuse.
  • Funded windmills clustered outside the Westmoreland County Courthouse in recognition of Child Abuse Prevention Month.
  • Developed printed materials to explain the role of WCCB in preventing child abuse.
  • Developed and distributed a flyer giving hotline numbers for parents experiencing stress in managing their children.
Pennsylvania Department of Human Services information about child abuse prevention

Signs of Abuse

The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services offers the following information about signs of abuse.

Physical Abuse

Physical Indicators

  • Unexplained injuries
  • Unbelievable or inconsistent explanations of injuries
  • Multiple bruises in various stages of healing
  • Bruises located on faces, ears, necks, buttocks, backs, chests, thighs, back of legs, and genitalia
  • Bruises that resemble objects such as a hand, fist, belt buckle, or rope
  • Injuries that are inconsistent with a child’s age/developmental level
  • Burns

Sexual Abuse

Physical Indicators

  • Sleep disturbances
  • Bedwetting
  • Pain or irritation in genital/anal area Difficulty walking or sitting
  • Difficultly urinating
  • Pregnancy
  • Positive testing for sexually transmitted disease or HIV
  • Excessive or injurious masturbation

Behavioral Indicators

  • Sexually promiscuous
  • Developmental age-inappropriate sexual play and/or drawings
  • Cruelty to others
  • Cruelty to animals
  • Fire setting
  • Anxious

Mental Abuse

Physical Indicators

  • Frequent psychosomatic complaints (nausea, stomachache, headache, etc.)
  • Bed-wetting
  • Self-harm
  • Speech disorders

Behavioral Indicators

  • Expressing feelings of inadequacy
  • Fearful of trying new things
  • Overly compliant
  • Poor peer relationships
  • Excessive dependence on adults
  • Habit disorders (sucking, rocking, etc.)
  • Eating disorders


Physical Indicators

  • Lack of adequate medical and dental care
  • Often hungry
  • Lack of shelter
  • Child’s weight is significantly lower than what is normal for his/her age and gender
  • Developmental delays
  • Persistent (untreated) conditions (e.g. head lice, diaper rash)
  • Exposure to hazards (e.g., illegal drugs, rodent/insect infestation, mold)
  • Clothing that is dirty, inappropriate for the weather, too small or too large

Behavioral Indicators

  • Not registered in school
  • Inadequate or inappropriate supervision
  • Poor impulse control
  • Frequently fatigued
  • “Parentified” behaviors

If you would like to report child abuse or neglect, please contact Childline at:

If you or someone you know could use a supporting hand, simply dial 2-1-1.

This free community and crisis hotline can help you.