What Is Child Abuse?

Child abuse is the non-accidental physical, emotional, or sexual mistreatment of children under the age 18.

What is child neglect?
The negligent treatment or maltreatment of a child, including the failure to provide adequate food, medical treatment, clothing, or shelter.

Exception: A parent or guardian legitimately practicing his religious beliefs and does no provide medical treatment for a child.  This does not preclude a court from ordering the medical services to be provided where the child’s health requires it.

What are the signs of physical abuse/neglect?
Unexplained injuries (bruises, burns, fractures, etc.), evidence of delayed/inappropriate treatment, withdrawn behavior, self destructive, regularly listless, extreme loneliness.

Who are the mandatory reporters?

  • Doctors, surgeons
  • Medical examiners
  • Coroners
  • Dentists
  • Osteopaths
  • Optometrists
  • Chiropractors
  • Podiatrists
  • Nurses
  • Pharmacists
  • School teachers and Personnel
  • Law enforcement officers and Officials
  • Social workers
  • Day care workers and Employees
  • Mental health professionals
  • Persons who render aid or medical assistance to any child when the child is known or suspected to be a victim of abuse or neglect