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Essential Objectives

Course Syllabus

Revision Date: 14-May-24

Fall 2024 | PSY-1020-VO01 - Child Abuse & Neglect

Online Class

Online courses take place 100% online via Canvas, without required in-person or Zoom meetings.

Location: Online
Credits: 3 (45 hours)
Day/Times: Meets online
Semester Dates: 09-03-2024 to 12-16-2024
Last day to drop without a grade: 09-16-2024 - Refund Policy
Last day to withdraw (W grade): 11-04-2024 - Refund Policy
Open Seats: 9 (as of 07-21-24 3:05 PM)
To check live space availability, Search for Courses.


Stacy Shortle
View Faculty Credentials
View Faculty Statement
Hiring Coordinator for this course: Kate Hughes

General Education Requirements

This section meets the following CCV General Education Requirement(s) for the current catalog year:
VSCS Social Sciences
  1. Many degree programs have specific general education recommendations. In order to avoid taking unnecessary classes, please consult with additional resources like your program evaluation, your academic program catalog year page, and your academic advisor.
  2. Courses may only be used to meet one General Education Requirement.

Course Description

This course introduces students to the history, cultural context, and issues of child abuse and neglect. Topics include identification, treatment, and prevention of child abuse and neglect. Students will analyze the roles of state agencies and departments, Vermont laws and procedures, and requirements for reporting child abuse and neglect.

Essential Objectives

1. Identify and define the types of childhood abuse and neglect including physical, emotional and sexual abuse; psychological maltreatment; and abandonment and neglect.
2. Describe the indicators of abuse and neglect.
3. Describe the historical and cultural context of child abuse and neglect, and address the scope of the problem as a social phenomenon in Vermont and nationally.
4. Discuss the theoretical explanations for the causes of abuse and neglect, identifying influences which can contribute to the risk of child abuse and neglect including generational, psychological, cultural, social, economic, and political.
5. Describe both the long term and short term effects of childhood abuse and neglect on the victims.
6. Explain the role of state agencies and departments, the community, and the family in dealing with issues of child abuse and neglect.
7. Summarize Vermont law regarding child abuse and neglect and outline the procedures for reporting suspected or known incidents.
8. Identify current treatment options for both victims and offenders.
9. Describe and assess strategies for preventing child abuse.

Required Technology

More information on general computer and internet recommendations is available on the CCV IT Support page. https://support.ccv.edu/general/computer-recommendations/

Please see CCV's Digital Equity Statement (pg. 45) to learn more about CCV's commitment to supporting all students access the technology they need to successfully finish their courses.

Required Textbooks and Resources

This course uses one or more textbooks/books/simulations, along with free Open Educational Resources (OER) and/or library materials.

Fall 2024 textbook/book details will be available on 2024-05-20. On that date a link will be available below that will take you to eCampus, CCV's bookstore. The information provided there will be specific to this class. Please see this page for more information regarding the purchase of textbooks/books.

PSY-1020-VO01 Link to Textbooks for this course in eCampus.

For Open Educational Resources (OER) and/or library materials details, see the Canvas Site for this class.

The last day to use a Financial Aid Advance to purchase textbooks/books is the 3rd Tuesday of the semester. See your financial aid counselor at your academic center if you have any questions.



Diverse course activities are organized into weekly units. These activities are designed specifically to address course objectives and to ensure that you acquire key factual, conceptual, analytical and decision-making knowledge and skills in the area of Child Abuse and Neglect. Activities include:


Required Texts:

Burke-Harris, N. (2018). The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Child Adversity. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Crosson-Towers, C. (2021). Understanding Child Abuse and Neglect. Pearson: New York.

Texts and readings from the professional literature (journal articles) are included to build your understanding of professional and ethical considerations within the field. In most weeks, you will be assigned readings from the textbooks and/or journal articles as noted in the Course Schedule.

Recommended Text

Van der Kolk, B. (2014). The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind and Body in the Healing of Trauma. Penguin: Boston.

Chapter Summaries

ChapterSummarieswill be presented for you to read on line. Summaries are meant to approximate classroom or workshop presentations by an instructor. They explain course material for the week, but should not be used in place of reading the assigned chapter for that week.


Weekly quizzes cover the hard-copy readings and in some cases, the online lectures. Quizzes will contain multiple choice and true and false questions.There will be two attempts allowed for the quiz. The highest grade will be recorded.

Discussion Posts

In an effort to make this course experience as professionally and personally relevant as possible, I will provide you with a number ofDiscussion Post opportunities. Each week, I will post different discussion topics based on the text readings or other relevant materials. Students will be expected to answer each post and then respond to at least one fellow students’ posts. I will provide specific instructions and downloadable materials inCanvasto guide your responses to these exercises.

In addition to these required postings, you are encouraged to interact less formally, by posting original comments of your own, for example, a new finding or perspective on a topic.

All of the "threads" posted by your instructor and classmates are available for you to review when you log on to theForumin Canvas. This allows for "asynchronous" discussion. That simply means that you do not have to log on at the same time as your classmates (as you would in a chat room), but can post your comments any time, at your convenience.

Virtual Calming Room

As working in the human service field, especially with children who are/have been maltreated, stress and burnout can be high in the professional. As well, the children with whom professional work can be highly dysregulated. We will be exploring various methods of self-care, from meditation, to mindful breathing, to yoga, etc. By the end of the semester, you will be expected to create a virtual calming room of various activities and strategies that you find help manage stress. This could be a calming room for yourself, or (as many of you are enrolled in the Early Childhood Program and/or may work with children) a virtual calming room for the children with whom you work. This is a really fun activity! More to come during week 1 of class.

Book Analysis

Students will read The Deepest Well by Nadine Burke Harris and write a book review/research paper on the character of Diego using the following essential objectives of the course:

1. Identify and define the types of ACES that Diego experienced.

2. Describe the indicators/symptoms of ACES that you see Diego experience. What brought him in to see Dr. Nadine and what sorts of symptoms/behaviors did you see throughout the novel that indicated developmental trauma?
3.Discuss two theoretical explanations for the causes of developmental trauma that Diego experience, identifying influences which can contribute to the risk of child abuse and neglect including generational, psychological, cultural, social, economic, and political.

4. From our work on ACES, describe both the short and long term effects of those ACES on Diego as a child and on Diego as an adult.

5. Are there mandated reporters in the book? If so, what are the steps they took/should have taken according to Vermont law regarding child abuse and neglect and outline the procedures for reporting suspected or known incidents.

6. Identify and explain two current treatment options for Diego and include evidence to support their effectiveness.
7. Lastly, reflecting on Diego’s story and on Dr. Nadine’s work in Bayview, describe and assess strategies/steps that could have been taken in order to prevent the abuse/neglect from happening.

This is a book review, so please formulate it in paragraph form-not simply answering the above questions in list format! Papers should be AT LEAST 6 pages in order to fully cover the essential objectives above. Follow APA format double spaced, Times New Roman 12 point font, etc.).

Grading Criteria

CCV Letter Grades as outlined in the Evaluation System Policy are assigned according to the following chart:

A Less than 9893
A-Less than 9390
B+Less than 9088
B Less than 8883
B-Less than 8380
C+Less than 8078
C Less than 7873
C-Less than 7370
D+Less than 7068
D Less than 6863
D-Less than 6360
FLess than 60 
NPLess than 600

Weekly Schedule

Week/ModuleTopic  Readings  Assignments


The History of Child Maltreatment


Crosson-Tower Read Chapter 1

Burke Harris-Read Chapter 1 and 2


Discussion Posts, Quiz



The Family: Roles, Responsibilities and Rights


Crosson Tower Chapter 2

Burke Harris Chapter 3


Discussion Posts, Quiz



Maltreatment and the Developing Child


Crosson-Tower Chapter 3

Burke Harris Chapter 4


Discussion Posts




The Neglect of Children


Crosson-Tower Chapter 4

Burke Harris Chapter 5


Discussion Posts




The Physical Abuse of Children


Crosson Tower Chapter 5

Burke Harris Chapter 6


Discussion Posts




The Sexual Abuse of Children


Crosson-Tower Chapter 6

Burke Harris Chapter 7


Discussion Posts




Intrafamilial and Extrafamilial Abuse


Crosson-Tower Chapters 7 and 8

Burke Harris Chapter 8


Discussion Posts




Psychological Maltreatment of Children


Crosson-Tower Chapter 9

Burke Harris Chapter 9


Discussion Posts




Reporting, Investigation and Case Management


Crosson-Tower Chapter 11

Burke-Harris Chapter 11


Discussion Posts



The Legal Response to Child Abuse and Neglect


Crosson-Tower Chapter 11

Burke-Harris Chapter 11


Discussion Posts




Treatment of Physical Abuse and Neglect


Crosson-Tower Chapters 12

Van der Kolk chapters 15-20 (choose 1 chapter to read for your discussion post)


Discussion Posts




Treatment: Sexual Abuse


Crosson-Tower Chapters 13

Van der Kolk chapters 15-20 (choose 1 chapter to read for your discussion post-different from last week)


Discussion Posts




Foster Care


Crosson-Tower Chapter 14


Discussion Post




Adults Abused as Children


Wrestling Ghosts Documentary


Discussion Post on the DocumentaryWrestling Ghosts



Final Assignments Due




Book Review and Virtual Calming Room Due


Attendance Policy

Regular attendance and participation in classes are essential for success in and are completion requirements for courses at CCV. A student's failure to meet attendance requirements as specified in course descriptions will normally result in a non-satisfactory grade.

  • In general, missing more than 20% of a course due to absences, lateness or early departures may jeopardize a student's ability to earn a satisfactory final grade.
  • Attending an on-ground or synchronous course means a student appeared in the live classroom for at least a meaningful portion of a given class meeting. Attending an online course means a student posted a discussion forum response, completed a quiz or attempted some other academically required activity. Simply viewing a course item or module does not count as attendance.
  • Meeting the minimum attendance requirement for a course does not mean a student has satisfied the academic requirements for participation, which require students to go above and beyond simply attending a portion of the class. Faculty members will individually determine what constitutes participation in each course they teach and explain in their course descriptions how participation factors into a student's final grade.

Participation Expectations

Participation-You will be expected to post a response to a topic presented by the Instructor. In addition to your post, you will be expected to respond to at least one other fellow students' original posts. There will be a rubric posted on the canvas class site that explains how points are awarded for total number of posts, quality of posts with respect to understanding of readings, and when those responses are posted. Each post will be awarded points toward your participation grade.

Missing & Late Work Policy

Work completion including responding to discussion posts and flipgrid posts, quizzes, virtual calming room and book analysis are to be completed by the due dates listed on Canvas. There are NO exceptions unless extenuating circumstances prevent you from completing the work that week and the student reaches out to the instructor prior to the assignment deadline with an explanation. You may also be expected to provide documentation (i.e., doctor's note, etc). If work is not received by the due date, a 0 will be recorded-no late submissions. Please review the due dates in the weekly modules on Canvas to plan and organize your time week by week for success in this course.

Accessibility Services for Students with Disabilities:

CCV strives to mitigate barriers to course access for students with documented disabilities. To request accommodations, please
  1. Provide disability documentation to the Accessibility Coordinator at your academic center. https://ccv.edu/discover-resources/students-with-disabilities/
  2. Request an appointment to meet with accessibility coordinator to discuss your request and create an accommodation plan.
  3. Once created, students will share the accommodation plan with faculty. Please note, faculty cannot make disability accommodations outside of this process.

Academic Integrity

CCV has a commitment to honesty and excellence in academic work and expects the same from all students. Academic dishonesty, or cheating, can occur whenever you present -as your own work- something that you did not do. You can also be guilty of cheating if you help someone else cheat. Being unaware of what constitutes academic dishonesty (such as knowing what plagiarism is) does not absolve a student of the responsibility to be honest in his/her academic work. Academic dishonesty is taken very seriously and may lead to dismissal from the College.