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Accused of Child Abuse or Neglect: What do you do?


Unfortunately, child abuse and child neglect are real issues in our society. Thousands of cases involving child abuse or child neglect are initiated each year by child abuse and child neglect protection agencies in the United States.

What is Child Abuse?

Child abuse refers to behavior by a caregiver, parent or third party that can injure a child either emotionally or physically. It is also considered child abuse to allow a child to be put in harms way. Child abuse can involve sexual abuse by a parent or by a parent not preventing a child from being sexually abused by someone else.

Child Neglect

Child neglect involves a parent or someone who is responsible for taking care of a child who fails to meet the child’s basic needs. This can involve failure to provide food or shelter. It can also involve lack of supervision of the child. Sometimes it refers to failure to provide educational services or emotional support for the child. Exposing young children to drug abuse situations can also be considered a form of child neglect. Parents have a responsibility to see to it their children have appropriate medical care in the event they are injured or sick.

Legal Consequences of Child Abuse or Child Neglect

Issues involving child abuse and child neglect in the State of New York are handled both by criminal courts and the family courts. Child abuse or child neglect can involve criminal prosecution. It can also involve proceedings in the family court to remove children from the parents’ control. Children can be removed from the home of abusive or neglectful parents. In extreme cases parental rights can be eliminated by the family court in the State of New York.

Accusations of Child Abuse or Child Neglect

When a parent or caregiver is accused of child abuse or child neglect they should take these accusations seriously. Children sometimes lie to teachers, guidance counselors or nurses at their schools. These lies to a mandatory reporter such as a doctor, teacher or police officer, can result in a parent being charged with a crime or dragged into family court and removed from their home where they reside with the children. It is extremely important to have competent legal counsel if you are charged with child abuse or child neglect.

Sometimes false allegations of child abuse or child neglect are made related to custody disputes in the Family court or in the Supreme court involving custody litigation. It should be noted the making of a false allegation to a police officer of child abuse or child neglect involving someone else, is a crime.


The laws in the State of New York involving child abuse and child neglect are complicated. The best way to deal with problems involving these issues is to retain an experienced attorney who deals with child abuse and child neglect cases.


Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq. is an attorney representing clients throughout the Metropolitan New York area for more than 3 decades involving situations involving allegations of child abuse and child neglect. He can be reached at 800-344-6431 or e-mailed at: Elliot@sdnylaw.com.

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