SWO Combats Child Abuse, Neglect

SWO Combats Child Abuse, NeglectSWO Combats Child Abuse, Neglect

There are 300 social emergency units active in the country to help address, resolve and eliminate social problems, particularly child abuse, says the deputy director of the Social Welfare Organization (SWO).

Habibollah Masoudi Farid said although the SWO emphasis is on family-centered approach “but in some extreme cases of child abuse, warrants can be issued to parents denying them custody of their children.”

There are several types of child abuse including physical, sexual and emotional, and also parental neglect.

At present, the most common type of child abuse is parental neglect. This issue can be addressed through suitable education and raising awareness, IRNA quoted him as saying.

Neglect refers to the failure of a parent to provide for the development of the child – where the parent is in a position to do so – in one or more areas of health, education, emotional development, nutrition, shelter and safe living conditions. “Neglect is thus distinguished from circumstances of poverty in that neglect can occur only in cases where reasonable resources are available to the family or caregiver.”


Social problems should be analyzed at a macro-level “as decisions taken at the macro level can have strong impacts on child rearing methods. The macro perspective assumes that society’s larger structures shape those individual behaviors,” he added.

“There are several reasons which cause parents to spend less time on their children including cultural, economic and social.”

In the current year child abuse has been accounted for 9% of calls received by the Social Emergency line (123); also 8% of calls were related to domestic violence.

According to the social emergency services, child abuse affects boys and girls equally. Most of the victims are younger than 5 years old, as this age group is more vulnerable and has less defensive power. That’s the reason why child abuse in children under five years is often more severe and associated with adverse psychological impacts.

Most cases of child abuse are reported to the centers by neighbors or relatives. Most of the callers are women.

 Follow Up

Masoudi Farid explained about the follow up process by social emergency when they receive calls. “When we are faced with a case of child abuse, we take the child from the family.Then in the shortest possible time (often less than 24 hours) we obtain a warrant from a judge to keep the child in a SWO child care center, if necessary.”

The child can stay at the welfare center for up to 42 days (two periods of 21 days). During this period psychological interventions and legal proceedings related to child abuse will be undertaken by the SWO social workers.

If the problem is alleviated, the child can return to the parents; but if the family is proved to be disqualified, at the discretion of the child, the organization hands over the child to the paternal grandparents or  first degree relatives (if they are qualified); otherwise the child is moved to the welfare “family like” centers, Masoudi Farid added.