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What is Child Abuse or Child Neglect?

What is Child Abuse or Child Neglect?There is a very broad view that is taken by CPS and ACS with regard to issues involving child abuse or child neglect. If the welfare of the child is somehow put in danger, it is considered child abuse or child neglect. If the health, education or welfare of a child is even compromised it can be considered child abuse or child neglect.

Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse and Child Neglect

There are numerous mandatory reporters of child abuse and child neglect. Among these are doctors, teachers, psychologists and police officers. Reports of child abuse and child neglect to ACS and CPS are done anonymously. This means your neighbor, a friend or someone who has an axe to grind about you can falsely report you for child abuse or child neglect. Even a false report can end up in child abuse or child neglect investigations.

The following is a list of various issues which can be considered child abuse and/or child neglect:

  • Sexual abuse – this is any improper touching or forced interaction of what can be considered a sexual nature
  • Substance abuse – the parent who is using illegal drugs or alcohol may be considered someone who places a child in danger which amounts to child abuse or child neglect
  • Physical abuse – virtual any injury to a child, whether it be by accident or related to discipline can be considered physical abuse
  • Emotional abuse – treating a child in a degrading manner or possibly humiliating the child can be considered emotional abuse
  • Abandonment neglect – this usually involves improperly leaving the child alone, whether it be in a car or a house. It may also involve the failure to provide proper food, medicine or sleep to a child. It can also involve failing to provide a child with proper care

Child Abuse or Child Neglect Investigations

When a child protective agency receives a report of alleged child abuse or child neglect the law in New York requires within 24to 48 hours, if there is a basis to investigate, that investigation be undertaken. In some occasions a preliminary investigation is started. The purpose of the preliminary investigation is to determine whether or not a further full investigation should proceed.

Investigations can be undertaken by the child protective agency themselves. However, they can also ask the police be involved. It should be pointed out where it is perceived criminal acts are involved, only the police can make the arrests. The child abuse or child neglect investigation may include social services workers, therapists, doctors, and various law enforcement officials. The investigators will seek to interview the child. If you do not give the interviewer access at your house, they will show up at the child’s school, ask the school authorities to cooperate with them and they will seek to investigate and question your child at the school without your being aware that this is taking place. The child investigation agency may also demand the child have a physical examination.

Removing children from the parents custody

The initial reaction parents often have is the child protection agency will seek to have the children removed from their home. This involves the potential loss of custody of the children. The basis for the removal of a child is when an agency reaches a conclusion there is a problem with regard to the child’s safety at the home and/or the parents have an inability to adequately care for or protect the child. The removal of the child from the parents’ custody only takes place when there is a danger to the child if he or she is left with the parents.

Finding the correct lawyer

Some matrimonial and family law attorneys dabble a bit in the handling of child abuse or child neglect cases. However, there is an entire body of law, rules, regulations and proceedings are followed both in a Family Court, Criminal Court and administrative proceedings concerning issues involving child abuse and child neglect. Should you, family members, loved ones or friends be involved in a child abuse or child neglect situation, you want the best lawyer. You do not want someone experimenting with the lives of your children.

schlissel-headshotShould you find yourself in a difficult situation or have questions regarding child abuse or child neglect allegations, feel free to call our office at 800-344-6431 or e-mail Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq. at Elliot@sdnylaw.com.    We have been representing our clients in child abuse and child neglect investigations for more than 45 years.  We will arrange a free consultation and layout a strategy with regard to your situation.

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