PM 01-05-01-a: Child Abuse and Neglect Defined

WAG 01-05-01-a

Child abuse is an action that causes or creates the risk of causing a child (by other than accidental means):

  • physical injury;
  • death;
  • disfigurement;
  • harm to physical or emotional health; or
  • loss or impairment of any body function.

Child abuse also includes any act of sexual abuse, torture, or severe punishment.

Child abuse can be committed by a parent or any other person who has continuing access on a regular basis to the child.

Child neglect is when a parent or any person the child depends on:

  • fails to give the proper or necessary support, education, medical, or other care needed for the child's well-being; or
  • abandons the child.