Child Abuse & Neglect Frequently Asked Question #3
What are the laws on child abuse and neglect in my State?
Child abuse and neglect are defined in both Federal and State legislation. The Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) (42 U.S.C.A. §5106g), as amended by the CAPTA Reauthorization Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-320), provides the foundation on which State definitions are based. CAPTA established a minimum set of standards that define child maltreatment. Each State is then responsible for its own definitions of child abuse and neglect that meets these standards within its civil and criminal codes.
Child Welfare Information Gateway, a service of the Children’s Bureau, provides links to information regarding child abuse and neglect laws in two sections of its website. Information Gateway maintains an online searchable database related to selected State statutes on child abuse and neglect, child welfare, and adoption laws at http://www.childwelfare.gov/systemwide/laws_policies/state/. Follow the 3 easy steps to display your State’s definitions of child abuse and neglect. (Select “Definitions of Child Abuse and Neglect” in the second step.) Also, the Information Gateway web section, Laws & Policies (http://www.childwelfare.gov/systemwide/laws_policies/), provides links to publications and resources related to State and Federal civil laws on child abuse and neglect, child welfare, and adoption. These resources are not intended to take the place of appropriate professional legal counsel.
For more information about the State Statutes database and publications, please contact Child Welfare Information Gateway by telephone at its toll-free number, 1.800.394.3366, or by email to email@example.com.