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What is considered child abuse and neglect in my State? How does my State define child abuse and neglect?

Child Welfare
Child Abuse and Neglect


Each State is responsible for defining child abuse and neglect according to State and Federal laws.

Child Welfare Information Gateway, a service of the Children’s Bureau, Administration for Children and Families (ACF), provides links to each State’s definitions of child abuse and neglect: https://www.childwelfare.gov/systemwide/laws_policies/state/.

Follow the three easy steps to retrieve your results:  1) Select a State, 2) Select a Topic (check the box next to “Definitions of Child Abuse and Neglect” under the heading Child Abuse and Neglect, and 3) Begin Your Search (click on Go!).