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Crimes Against Children: Neglect Frequently Asked Questions


1.What is neglect?

2.Are there different forms of neglect?

3.What constitutes “mental injury”?

4.What are examples of potential forms of neglect?

5. Under what age is a person considered a “child” under Maryland child abuse and neglect laws?

7. Who should or must report possible cases of neglect?

 

   Neglect includes any maltreatment or negligence that harms a child's health, welfare or safety. It may include physical, emotional or educational neglect.

2.  Are there different forms of neglect?

  Yes. Neglect may include either (1) The failure to give proper care and attention to a child, including the leaving of a child unattended under circumstances that indicate that the child’s health or welfare is harmed or placed at substantial risk of harm; or (2) Mental injury to a child, or substantial risk of mental injury that is caused by the failure to give proper care and attention to a child.

3.   What constitutes “mental injury”?

  Mental injury is the observable, identifiable and substantial impairment of a child’s mental or psychological ability function.

4.  What are examples of potential forms of neglect?

  Neglect may occur through actions such as: Abandonment; Refusal to seek treatment for illness; Inadequate supervision; Health hazards in the home; Ignoring a child's need for contact, affirmation and stimulation; Providing inadequate emotional nurturance; Knowingly permitting chronic truancy; Keeping a child home from school repeatedly without cause; or Failing to enroll a child in school (or home school).

5. Under what age is a person considered a “child” under Maryland child abuse and neglect laws?

  Under Maryland’s child abuse and neglect laws, a “child” is defined as an individual under the age of eighteen (18) years.

6. Who can be found guilty of neglect?

  A child’s parent, or other individual who has permanent or temporary care or custody, or responsibility for supervision of the child.

7. Who should or must report possible cases of neglect?

   In Maryland, the laws regarding child abuse and neglect require any health practitioner (doctor, nurse, etc.), police officer, educator or human service worker who has reason to believe that a child has been subjected to abuse, neglect or mental injury, shall report such cases to the appropriate law enforcement agency. All other citizens who have reason to believe that a child has been subjected to abuse, neglect or metal injury are also required to make reports.
 

 

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