Complete Your CE Test Online - Click Here However, only the following may be considered a perpetrator for failing to act: ● ● A parent of the child. ● ● A spouse or former spouse of the child’s parent. ● ● A paramour or former paramour of the child’s parent. ● ● A person 18 years of age or older and responsible for the child’s welfare. ● ● A person 18 years of age or older who resides in the same home as the child. Note: This excludes a person 14 to 17 years old for failing to act. Note: This expanded definition of perpetrator now includes school employees. The prior version of the CPSL captured them in a separate category. “Human trafficking” is defined as the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision or obtaining of a child for labor or services through use of force, fraud, or coercion. Under federal law, sex trafficking (such as prostitution, pornography, exotic dancing, etc.) does not require there be force, fraud or coercion if the victim is under 18. “Person responsible” is defined as a person who provides permanent or temporary care, supervision, mental health diagnosis or treatment, training or control of a child in lieu of parental care, supervision and control. The term includes any such person who has direct or regular contact with a child through any program, activity, or service sponsored by a school, for-profit organization or religious or other not- for-profit organization. “Recent” is defined as an abusive act within 2 years from the date ChildLine is called. Sexual abuse, serious mental injury, serious physical neglect and deaths have no time limit. Types of child abuse Child welfare generally recognizes four types of child abuse – Neglect, Physical, Emotional and Sexual . In this section we provide an overview of those types using terminology and definitions found in the CPSL. Neglect Child neglect is a form of child abuse that occurs when someone intentionally does not provide a child with food, water, shelter, clothing, medical care, or other necessities. Child neglect is not always easy to spot. Sometimes, a parent might become physically or mentally unable to care for a child, such as with a serious injury, untreated depression, or anxiety. Other times, alcohol or drug abuse may seriously impair judgment and the ability to keep a child safe. Serious physical neglect. Any of the following when committed by a perpetrator that endangers a child’s life or health, threatens a child’s well-being, causes bodily injury or impairs a child’s health, development or functioning: 1. A repeated, prolonged or egregious failure to supervise a child in a manner that is appropriate considering the child’s developmental age and abilities. 2. The failure to provide a child with adequate essentials of life, including food, shelter or medical care. Serious physical neglect may be manifested in inadequate nutrition (i.e., malnutrition or starvation), infant failure to thrive syndrome, failure or delay in seeking medical care, prolonged exposure to the elements, or malnutrition. Cases of serious physical neglect is one of the nine categories of child abuse listed in the definition section and will be addressed through Child Protective Services. Emotional abuse “Serious mental injury.” A psychological condition, as diagnosed by a physician or licensed psychologist, including the refusal of appropriate treatment, that: 1. Renders a child chronically and severely anxious, agitated, depressed, socially withdrawn, psychotic or in reasonable fear that the child’s life or safety is threatened; or 2. Seriously interferes with a child’s ability to accomplish age- appropriate developmental and social tasks. Some examples of “serious mental injuries” may be: ● ● Ignoring. Either physically or psychologically, the parent or caregiver is not present to respond to the child. He or she may not look at the child and may not call the child by name. ● ● Rejecting. This is an active refusal to respond to a child’s needs (e.g., refusing to touch a child, denying the needs of a child, ridiculing a child). ● ● Isolating. The parent or caregiver consistently prevents the child from having normal social interactions with peers, family members, and adults. This also may include confining the child or limiting the child’s freedom of movement. ● ● Exploiting or corrupting. In this kind of abuse, a child is taught, encouraged, or forced to develop inappropriate or illegal behaviors. It may involve self-destructive or antisocial acts of the parent or caregiver, such as teaching a child how to steal or forcing a child into prostitution. ● ● Verbally assaulting. This involves constantly belittling, shaming, ridiculing, or verbally threatening the child. ● ● Terrorizing. The parent or caregiver threatens or bullies the child and creates a climate of fear for the child. Terrorizing can include placing the child or the child’s loved one (such as a sibling, pet, or toy) in a dangerous or chaotic situation, or placing rigid or unrealistic expectations on the child with threats of harm if they are not met. ● ● Neglecting the child. This abuse may include educational neglect, where a parent or caregiver fails or refuses to provide the child with necessary educational services; mental health neglect, where the parent or caregiver denies or ignores a child’s need for treatment for psychological problems; or medical neglect, where a parent or caregiver denies or ignores a child’s need for treatment for medical problems. Physical abuse Physical abuse is redefined as “bodily injury” to the child which requires impairment of a physical condition or substantial pain, rather than severe pain or lasting impairment. It may be the result of a deliberate attempt to hurt the child, but not always. It can also result from severe discipline, such as using a belt on a child, or physical punishment that is inappropriate to the child’s age or physical condition. Many physically abusive parents and caregivers insist that their actions are simply forms of discipline—ways to make children learn to behave. But there is a big difference between using physical punishment to discipline and physical abuse. “Serious bodily injury” creates a substantial risk of death or causes serious permanent disfigurement or protracted loss of impairment of function of any bodily, organ or member (i.e., broken bones, second or third degree burns, internal injury, suspected homicide, head injury or hemorrhage, puncture or bullet wounds). The injury may constitute a criminal act in addition to child abuse. Sexual abuse Sexual abuse or exploitation is defined by the Child Protective Services Law as: The employment, use, persuasion, inducement, enticement or coercion of a child to engage in or assist another individual to engage in sexually explicit conduct, which includes, but is not limited to, the following: ● ● Looking at the sexual or other intimate parts of a child or another individual for the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire in any individual. Page 5