Definitions

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Child Abuse and Neglect –

“Any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker, which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse, or exploitation, or an act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm.” (Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, 42 U.S.C.A. § 5106g(2) (2003).)

Neglect –

“The failure of a parent or other person with responsibility for the child to provide needed food, clothing, shelter, medical care, or supervision such that the child’s health, safety, and well-being are threatened with harm.”  (Child Welfare Information Gateway – State Statutes, 2009)

Physical Abuse –

“Any nonaccidental physical injury to the child and can include striking, kicking, burning, or biting the child, or any action that results in a physical impairment of the child. The definition also includes acts or circumstances that threaten the child with harm or create a substantial risk of harm to the child’s health or welfare.” (Child Welfare Information Gateway – State Statutes, 2009)

Emotional Abuse –

“Injury to the psychological capacity or emotional stability of the child as evidenced by an observable or substantial change in behavior, emotional response, or cognition, or as evidenced by anxiety, depression, withdrawal, or aggressive behavior.” (Child Welfare Information Gateway – State Statutes, 2009)

Sexual Abuse –

“The employment, use, persuasion, inducement, enticement, or coercion of any child to engage in, or assist any other person  to engage in, any sexually explicit conduct or simulation of such conduct for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of such conduct; or the rape, and in cases of caretaker or interfamilial relationships, statutory rape, molestation, prostitution, or other form of sexual exploitation of children, or incest with children.”  (Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, 42 U.S.C.A. § 5106g(2) (2003).)

Abandonment –

“Abandonment of the child when the parent’s identity or whereabouts are unknown, the child has been left by the parent in circumstances in which the child suffers serious harm, or the parent has failed to maintain contact with the child or to provide reasonable support for a specified period of time.”  (Child Welfare Information Gateway – State Statutes, 2009)