UNICEF: Child Brain Development Can Be Affected By Violence, Abuse

Kuni Tyessi, Abuja

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has revealed that children these days are known to exhibit all kinds of negative social behaviors which are not unconnected to violence, abuse and neglect.

Also, this has been researched and documented to be responsible for inadequacies in child brain development, hence affecting a child’s inability to attain its full potentials and cognitive abilities.

UNICEF Child Protection Specialist, Ms. Maryam Enyiazu, made this known during a two-day media dialogue on Social Welfare and Professionalisation Bill in a paper titled “Strengthening social welfare workforce to better protect children and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.”

She said social work, as it relates to the vulnerable in which children are a major factor as well as the elderly and persons living with disabilities, suffers several setbacks which include being under-resourced, underfunding, misunderstood, under appreciation, lack of regulation, inspection and quality standards among others.

She added that studies have explored the economic and societal impact of childhood violence and neglect as this has led to the loss of 8.9 billion dollars which represents 1.58 per cent of the country’s GDP.

While calling for an improvement in tertiary education curriculum, Enyiazu said training and retraining of social workers whom she said are yearning for proper recognition as the call towards social work has become an all comers affair, thereby exposing them to marginalisation and giving the wrong perception that they are poor.

She said: “Children these days exhibit all kinds of negative social attitudes which might not be unconnected to abuse, violence, and neglect. Such have affected their developmental process and brain development.

“Graduates must be seen graduating with the right form of knowledge towards social development. They need training and re- training as research has shown that many are not trained and knowledge used for the work is what they had acquired over a long period of time.”

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