As this blog has discussed on previous occasions, while it may be difficult for grandparents to get custody of their grandchildren as a matter of routine, grandparent custody may be an option in Arizona when it appears that the grandchildren have been abused or neglected.
The trouble is that child abuse and neglect rarely occur out in the open. For one, parents who engage in this sort of behavior have some natural shame about what they are doing and also probably recognize that they can get in to a lot of trouble for their actions. Moreover, children themselves are often too scared or embarrassed to tell their grandparents or, for that matter, anyone else.
There is no one sign that proves child abuse or neglect except, perhaps, the statement of the child herself that abuse happened. As such, concerned grandparents should consult with an experienced grandparents' rights attorney if they suspect abuse or neglect and would like to do something to help their grandchildren. Still, understanding some of the warning signs of abuse and neglect may help grandparents decide the appropriate course of action.
Because abuse comes in various forms, the signs of abuse can vary. For instance, emotional abuse is likely not going to have any visible signs or symptoms, but a child who experiences depression, developmental regression or has some unexplained self-esteem issues. Likewise, signs of neglect could include a child who sneaks or hoards food or has a hard time getting to school consistently.
Again, the fact that a grandparent notices some of these signs is to necessarily a reason to be concerned. However, they may call for further investigation.