Child Abuse Law
Child abuse is defined by Federal and State laws. Although State laws vary, the Federal Child Abuse prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) requires that States incorporate a minimum set of acts or behaviors into their legal definitions of child abuse and neglect.
Most states have civil definitions for child abuse and neglect, as well, that address the grounds for intervention by State child protective agencies. In most states certain individuals, such as medical professionals, teachers, day care providers, and law enforcement officers are required by law to report suspected child abuse. In addition, some states also requires attorneys, clergy, therapists and counselors to do so as well, despite the controversial loss of privilege.
Laws regarding child abuse seek to protect children, while at the same time allowing parents the right to raise their families without overt governmental intrusion. These laws can be quite controversial, however, for many reasons: the loss of privilege due to the mandatory reporting laws; the broadness in the definition of what constitutes abuse, which can lead to false allegations and extreme consequences; and the frequent perception that the government is interfering with the rights of parents to raise and discipline their children as they see fit.
To consult State Legislation regarding child abuse laws and regulations please see the Criminal Code by State page. Visit Us at Google+ Copyright HG.org
Child Abuse Law – US
- ABA Center on Children and the Law
The ABA Center on Children and the Law, a program of the Young Lawyers Division, aims to improve children's lives through advances in law, justice, knowledge, practice and public policy. Our areas of expertise include child abuse and neglect, child welfare and protective services system enhancement, foster care, family preservation, termination of parental rights, parental substance abuse, adolescent health, and domestic violence.
- Chapter 419B — Juvenile Code: Dependency - Reporting Child Abuse
The Legislative Assembly finds that for the purpose of facilitating the use of protective social services to prevent further abuse, safeguard and enhance the welfare of abused children, and preserve family life when consistent with the protection of the child by stabilizing the family and improving parental capacity, it is necessary and in the public interest to require mandatory reports and investigations of abuse of children and to encourage voluntary reports.
- Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act as Amended by the Keeping Children and Families Safe Act of 2003
The basis for government's intervention in child maltreatment is grounded in the concept of parens patriae—a legal term that asserts that government has a role in protecting the interests of children and in intervening when parents fail to provide proper care. Beginning in the late 19th century, States and local jurisdictions started initiating mechanisms to assist and protect children. Then in 1912, the Federal Government established the Children's Bureau to guide Federal programs that were designed to support State child welfare programs as well as to direct Federal aid to families, which began with the passage of the Social Security Act (SSA) in 1935. The child welfare policy of the SSA layered Federal funds over existing State-supervised and administered programs that were already in place.
- Child Abuse Reporting Statues
- Definitions of Child Abuse and Neglect - Child Welfare Information Gateway
Child abuse and neglect are defined by Federal and State laws. The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) is the Federal legislation that provides minimum standards that States must incorporate in their statutory definitions of child abuse and neglect. The CAPTA definition of "child abuse and neglect" refers to: * "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"
- Megan's Law
The U.S. Congress has passed several laws that require states to implement sex offender and crimes against children registries: the Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act, the Pam Lychner Sexual Offender Tracking and Identification Act, and Megan's Law. On March 5, 2003, the United States Supreme Court ruled that information about potential predators may be publicly posted on the Internet.
- Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act
To provide for the registration of sex offenders and for appropriate notification of their whereabouts, and for other purposes.
- US Code, Title 42, 13031 - Child Abuse Reporting
A person who, while engaged in a professional capacity or activity described in subsection (b) of this section on Federal land or in a federally operated (or contracted) facility, learns of facts that give reason to suspect that a child has suffered an incident of child abuse, shall as soon as possible make a report of the suspected abuse to the agency designated under subsection (d) of this section.
Child Abuse Law - Europe
- European Children’s Network
The activities of the European Children’s Network are founded on a list of principles to which all members subscribe. These principles and objectives represent the core values that underpin the work of the European Children’s Network and are based on the 1989 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
- Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse - Council of Europe
The programme "Building a Europe for and with children" is being implemented further to the Third Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe (Warsaw 2005). It is also a response to the Organisation's mandate to guarantee an integrated approach to promoting children's rights and the decision to launch a three-year programme covering the social, legal, educational and health dimensions relevant to protecting children from various forms of violence.
- United Kingdom - Children Act 1989 - Chapter 41
Child Abuse Law - International
- African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child - Article 16: Protection Against Child Abuse and Torture
States Parties to the present Charter shall take specific legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of torture, inhuman or degrading treatment and especially physical or mental injury or abuse, neglect or maltreatment including sexual abuse, while in the care of the child.
- Canadian Legislation - Family Violence Offense
Family violence is against the law in Canada. Although the Criminal Code does not refer to any specific "family violence offence," an abuser can be charged with an applicable offence.
- World Health Organization - Child Maltreatment
Child abuse or maltreatment refers to all forms of physical and/or emotional ill-treatment, sexual abuse, neglect or negligent treatment of commercial or other exploitation, resulting in actual or potential harm to the child's health, survival, development or dignity in the context of a relationship of responsibility, trust or power. This definition covers a broad spectrum usually grouped in four types: physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, neglect.
Organizations Related to Child Abuse Law
- American Humane Association
Founded in 1877, the American Humane Association is the only national organization dedicated to protecting both children and animals. A nonprofit membership organization, American Humane is headquartered in Denver. Through a network of child and animal protection agencies and individuals, American Humane provides national leadership in developing policies, legislation, curricula and training programs -- and taking actions -- to protect children and animals from cruelty, abuse, neglect and exploitation.
- Child Abuse and Neglect in Eastern Europe
The webpage canee.net is run by the Nobody's Children Foundation, based in Poland, with financial support of the OAK Foundation. It is dedicated to the problem of abused and neglected children in Central and Eastern Europe. It includes information on the scale and various dimensions of this negative phenomenon in Central and Eastern Europe – results of research, statistics and legislation in force concerning situation of children. This page also consists of descriptions of activities undertaken in order to protect children’s rights.
- Child Abuse Prevention Network
The Child Abuse Prevention Network is the flagship service of LifeNET (Life Network Engineering Technologies, Inc.) Begun in 1995, the Network now serves over 30,000 visitors a month. While most of our visitors come from the USA, we also have users from over 120 countries around the world. LifeNET has as its motto: Making a World of Difference for Families. The Network is doing that: most of our users are professionals, but many are families. Besides our public websites, we also operate private communities of professionals -- on a membership-only basis -- in order to assist them in solving complex problems in the field of child abuse.
- Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre - UK
The Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre is dedicated to eradicating the sexual abuse of children. That means we are part of UK policing and very much about tracking and bringing offenders to account either directly or in partnership with local and international forces.
- International Child Abuse Network
Since its inception in 1995, the International Child Abuse Network has held itself to the following mission statement. Working world-wide to break the cycle of child abuse.
- International Society for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN)
The International Society for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect, founded in 1977, is the only multidisciplinary international organization that brings together a worldwide cross-section of committed professionals to work towards the prevention and treatment of child abuse, neglect and exploitation globally.
- National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome
The National Center has a mission: �To educate and train parents and professionals, and to conduct research that will prevent the shaking and abuse of infants in the United States�. Shaken baby syndrome (SBS) is the leading cause of death in abusive head trauma (AHT) cases. An estimated 1,200 to 1,400 children are injured or killed by shaking every year in the United States. Actual numbers may be much higher as many likely go undetected. Over 300 babies a year die from being shaken in the United States.
- Victims of Violence - Child Protection and Safety
Victims of Violence is a national nonprofit, non-government funded charitable organization that was founded in 1984. We are dedicated to the prevention of crimes against children and in this respect to educating children on personal safety issues. We have a wide variety of child safety and educational materials available through our head office.
Publications Related to Child Abuse Law
- Best Interests - Children's Advocates
Best Interests provides news and resources for professionals and volunteers who advocate for abused and neglected children.
- Parent and Child - Children's Rights V. Parents' Rights
The relationship between parent and child is of fundamental importance to U.S. society, because it preserves the safety and provides for the nurture of dependent individuals. For this reason, the parent-child relationship is given special legal consideration. Increasingly, local, state, and federal governments have become more involved in the relationship, especially when a child is abused or neglected. In addition, parental roles have shifted over time, and the law has moved with these changes. Legal rights that were once the sole province of the father are now shared with the mother, and, in general, the law seeks to treat parents equally.
- Prevent Child Abuse - Tools for Child Abuse Prevention
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Children's Bureau, Office on Child Abuse and Neglect, its Child Welfare Information Gateway, and the FRIENDS National Resource Center for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention created this resource guide targeted specifically for service providers who work with parents, other caregivers, and their children with the common goal of strengthening families.
Articles on HG.org Related to Child Abuse Law
- Investigators Deploy Various Tools in Texas Internet Solicitation CasesBecoming the subject of an Internet investigation related to the online solicitation of a minor is life altering. Not only are there criminal penalties, but also if convicted sex offender registration rules apply and jobs and housing can be hard to come by with required background checks.
- Criticism and Changes to the Maryland Sex Offender RegistrySex offender registries exist in one form or another across the nation, but there are differences state to state. However, most (if not all) state registries are public in nature.
- California School’s Duty to Report AbuseIn California, the responsibility of school employees to report suspicion of child abuse is not only a component of a person’s moral compass, it’s the law. Communities rely on places like institutions of education to provide an element of safety for children, and teachers and administrators are assumed to uphold that expectation.
- What is Meeting a Child for Lewd Purposes (Penal Code § 288.4)?Penal Code § 288.4 is a “wobbler,” meaning it can be filed as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending upon the facts of the case and the client’s criminal history. It is most often filed as a misdemeanor if the defendant has absolutely no prior criminal history (excluding minor traffic offenses such as speeding or parking tickets).
- Ten Year Restraining Order Proper for Mother Who Stalks Husband and Scares DaughterIn November of 2007, Mrs. N.C. went to her husband’s house, where her daughter then lived. She took a Lynx Black Cat golf club with her and pounded on the front door of the house, demanding custody of her daughter. The daughter was inside and heard the pounding, but B. did not open the door. B. told Mrs. N.C. he would call the police. Their daughter “saw her mom and then ran to her room, crying.”
- Child Rape Charges Aided by Criminal Defense AttorneysCriminal defense attorneys understand the seriousness of a child rape charge. Not only is your freedom at stake but also your reputation, because you could be registered as a sex offender. When it comes to this type of charge, even an accusation can impact the rest of your life. There will always be the question as to whether or not you are guilty of this crime.
- The Consequences of Florida Child Abuse and Molestation ChargesCharges of child abuse and molestation can result in serious criminal consequences. If you are charged, you could lose your rights as a parent and face serious jail time.
- Helping You Understand What Can Happen if You Issue a Bad CheckActually, the penalties for writing a bad check in New York State can be severe. Everyone knows you are not supposed to write bad checks. Even if you do so intentionally or repeatedly, you won’t be treated like you robbed someone on the street or in a home, right? Actually, the penalties for writing a bad check in New York State can be severe.
- Fatal Day Care Accident Leads to Multiple LawsuitsChild care injuries are alarmingly common and the harm may result from a variety of sources. However, all day care accidents typically involve employee negligence or recklessness. Just weeks ago, a day care van filled with children veered wildly toward oncoming traffic before leaving the road and crashing into a tree. The accident injured 15 passengers — 14 of them children — and killed a 31-year-old woman.
- Myths About Child AbuseTurn on the TV and it is not hard to hear about the child molestation accusations that were made against Jerry Sandusky in the last two months. If you are like me it is difficult to wrap your mind around the possibility of a coach molesting children, especially someone in a mentoring role.
- All Criminal Law Articles
Articles written by attorneys and experts worldwide discussing legal aspects related to Criminal Law including: arson, assault, battery, bribery, burglary, child abuse, child pornography, computer crime, controlled substances, credit card fraud, criminal defense, criminal law, drugs and narcotics, DUI, DWI, embezzlement, fraud, expungements, felonies, homicide, identity theft, manslaughter, money laundering, murder, perjury, prostitution, rape, RICO, robbery, sex crimes, shoplifting, theft, weapons, white collar crime and wire fraud.