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Definitions of abuse and neglect



This definition is not dependent upon location. Abuse can occur while the child is in an out-of-home or in-home setting.

  1. The non-accidental commission of any act by a caregiver which causes or creates a substantial risk of physical or emotional injury or sexual abuse of a child; or
  2. The victimization of a child through sexual exploitation or human trafficking, regardless if the person responsible is a caregiver.


Failure by a caregiver, either deliberately or through negligence or inability, to take those actions necessary to provide a child with minimally adequate food, clothing, shelter, medical care, supervision, emotional stability and growth, or other essential care, including malnutrition or failure to thrive; provided, however, that such inability is not due solely to inadequate economic resources or solely to the existence of a handicapping condition.


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