What is Abuse and Neglect
Understanding abuse and neglect (to be a pdf link on page When to Call)
A child is at risk of or has suffered physical harm inflicted by a person having charge of the child. It also occurs when a person fails to adequately supervise, protect, care for or provide for a child. Physical abuse also includes a pattern of neglect in supervising, protecting, caring for or providing for a child.
A child is at risk of or has been sexually molested or sexually exploited by a person having charge of a child or by another person. It also occurs when the person having charge of a child knows, or should know, of the possibility of sexual molestation or exploitation by another person and fails to protect a child.
A child is at risk of or has suffered emotional harm demonstrated by serious anxiety, depression, withdrawal, self-destructive or aggressive behavior or delayed development and there are reasonable grounds to believe this harm results from the actions, failure to act or pattern of neglect by the person having charge of the child. It also occurs when a child exhibits the above serious behaviours and the person having charge of the child does not provide services or treatment to alleviate the harm. Emotional abuse can also include exposure to domestic violence.
A child is at risk of or has been harmed as a result of the caregiver’s failure to adequately supervise, protect, care for or provide for a child. Neglect also occurs when a child has a medical, mental, emotional or developmental condition that requires services or treatment and the person having charge of the child does not provide these services or treatment.
A child has been abandoned, a child’s parent has died or is unavailable to exercise his or her custodial rights over a child and has not made adequate provision for a child’s care and custody. It also occurs when a child is in residential placement and the parent refuses or is unable or unwilling to resume the child’s care and custody.
No harm has come to a child and no evidence is apparent that a child may be in need of intervention. However the caregiver demonstrates, or has demonstrated in the past, characteristics that indicate the child would be at risk of harm without intervention. These characteristics can include a history of abusing/neglecting a child, being unable to protect a child from harm, problems such as drug or alcohol abuse, mental health issues or limited care giving skills.