How Can I Protect My Child From Neglect?

Abuse and neglect can affect a child physically, emotionally, psychologically, cognitively, and even developmentally. It is important that children who are at risk of abuse or neglect be protected so they can avoid the long-term consequences of such actions. Protecting children from abuse may involve removing them from an unsafe environment or away from an abusive caregiver. Protecting a child from neglect, however, is a little more difficult.

Neglect is defined as failing to provide a child with proper and sufficient food, clothing, maintenance, education as required by law, necessary medical care or surgical treatment, a clean and safe home, or failing to provide a child with or facilitate any act necessary for the child’s physical or moral well-being. It also includes keeping a child in an inappropriate institutional environment.

Neglect can be one act or omission or a pattern of long-term mistreatment. Protecting a child from neglect, therefore, requires you know where your child is and with whom. You also need to be aware of the treatment and care your child receives when with the other caregiver. These are the first steps in protecting him or her from neglect. The next step is legally protecting your child when in the care of the other parent and establishing parenting guidelines. Developing a parenting plan with specific guidelines is a good way to prevent neglect.

If your child is being neglected when in the care of the other parent, that parent’s parenting time should be limited and supervised. To accomplish this, you may have to take the matter to court. But, as the parent seeking changes to a custody or parenting time order, you bear the burden of proof. This means you will need to demonstrate that your child is being neglected when in the care of the other parent. Doing so can be difficult, especially if you don’t have an advocate.

Speak with a child custody and child welfare attorney if you want to know more about what you can do to protect your child from neglect. An attorney can help you develop a thorough parenting plan that protects your child’s interests. A child welfare attorney can also help you take steps to protect your child immediately if the neglect is severe.

Are you concerned about your child’s safety? If so, Williams Law Group, LLC can help you with your case and defend your rights. We can be your advocates as you navigate the child welfare case process. Located in Union, New Jersey, Williams Law Group, LLC provides compassionate and dedicated legal services to Union, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Monmouth, and Middlesex counties, and the surrounding areas. Our knowledgeable attorneys handle divorce and family law, child custody, and child abuse/neglect cases. Call our office at (908) 810-1083, email us at, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation and ultimately get you connected with an experienced New Jersey divorce and child custody attorney.

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