The topic of child abuse can be very sensitive, especially when the child in question isn't yours. While it's hard to know the boundaries of responsibility as a parent outside of the household, your fatherhood duties might make you feel compelled to help.
However, before you begin to get involved, you should check for any warning signs or indications of abuse and neglect. Here are some big ones to watch for.
1. Inexplicable injuries: Any kind of bruising or welts that appear on the child that can't be adequately explained should cue a lot of red flags. Anything on the face or arms should be given special attention, as these are common places for physical abuse.
2. Behavioral changes: When abuse is ongoing, it not only affects a child's physical well-being but his or her mental and emotional state as well. Most children who are currently victims of neglect or abuse appear scared or withdrawn from their peers. They might even resort to earlier behaviors from infancy, such as thumb-sucking and fear of strangers.
3. Lack of parental supervision: Some indications of negligent behavior can include poor dental and physical hygiene, inadequate school attendance and mediocre nutrition.