Child Abuse

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Abuse/Neglect Defined

Abuse is generally thought of as “any non-accidental injury inflicted on a child by a parent or other caretaker deliberately or in anger”.

Neglect may be defined as a condition in which a caretaker responsible for the child either deliberately or by extraordinary inattentiveness permits the child to experience avoidable present suffering and/or fails to provide one or more of the ingredients generally deemed essential for developing a person’s physical, intellectual, and emotional capacities.

Physical Abuse

“Abuse” or “child neglect” means an act or omission that threatens the health or welfare of a child in one of the following categories:
– Skin bruising, bleeding, malnutrition, failure to thrive, burns, fracture of any bone, subdural hematoma, soft tissue swelling, or death
– The condition or death is not justifiably explained
– The history given concerning the condition is at variance with the degree or type of such condition/death
– The circumstances indicate that the condition may not be the result of an accidental occurrence.

Sexual Abuse/Exploitation

“Abuse” or “child abuse or neglect” occurs when a child is subjected to sexual assault or molestation, sexual exploitation, or prostitution.
“Sexual conduct” includes any of the following:
– Sexual intercourse, including genital-genital, oral-genital, anal-genital or oral-anal, whether between persons of the same or opposite sex or between humans and animals
– Penetration of the vagina or rectum by any object
– Masturbation
– Sexual sadomasochistic abuse


The term “child abuse or neglect” includes any case in which a child is in need of services because the child’s parent has failed to provide adequate food, clothing, shelter, medical care, or supervision that a prudent parent would take. A child is “neglected” or “dependent” if:
– The parent, guardian, or legal custodian has subjected the child to mistreatment or abuse or has allowed another to mistreat or abuse the child without taking lawful means to stop such mistreatment or abuse and prevent it from recurring.
– The child lacks proper parental care through the actions or omissions of the parent, guardian, or legal custodian
The child’s environment is injurious to their welfare
– The parent, guardian, or legal custodian fails or refuses to provide the child with proper or necessary subsistence, education, medical care, or any other necessary care
– The child is homeless, without proper care, or not domiciled with their parent, guardian, or legal custodian through no fault of such parent, guardian, or legal custodian
– The child has run away from home or is otherwise beyond the control of their parents, guardian, or legal custodian

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