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According to the statutes governing child abuse in New Jersey, as well as the Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCPP), an abused child is one whose physical, mental or emotional condition has been impaired or is in imminent danger of becoming impaired. Additionally, state law defines abuse to a minor as the physical, sexual or emotional harm or imminent risk of harm to a child under the age of 18 by a parent or guardian. Some of the most common forms of child abuse in Short Hills are physical, emotional, and sexual harm. Our skilled attorneys could help you build a case in your defense if you are facing allegations of any of these types of violence against your child. Alternatively, our team could help you pursue legal action if you believe your child is in danger.
Physical abuse normally consists of unexplained bruises and welts, burns, fractures, lacerations, or abrasions on a child. According to state law, this type of violence also occurs in situations involving excessive corporal punishment.
In Short Hills, emotional abuse is a form of maltreatment against a child that results in impaired psychological growth and development. We normally see this in allegations regarding verbal abuse against a child, penalization for positive normal behaviors, exposing children to domestic violence, unwillingness to provide affection or stimulation for a child during their daily care. We have also seen the DCPP allege emotional abuse against a parent or caregiver when their untreated mental illness puts the child at risk of harm.
Contact is considered sexual abuse when it occurs between a child and a parent or guardian for sexual stimulation of that person or another party. This can occur when a child has been sexually molested or penetrated by a parent or guardian, or when a parent fails to make reasonable efforts to stop an action by another person that resulted in sexual abuse against the child.
One common type of child abuse allegations that our attorneys have seen in Short Hills is neglect. Neglect occurs when a parent or guardian does not provide proper supervision for a child or fails to provide adequate food, clothing, shelter, education, or medical care, despite being financially able to do so on their own or with financial assistance. Additionally, child neglect may occur if the caregiver has a substance abuse issue that threatens the child’s safety.
Educational neglect occurs when a parent or caregiver has willfully failed to provide a school-age child with a regular education, as prescribed by the applicable law. If a child is enrolled in school, but is not attending due to the willful actions or inactions of a parent or guardian, or if a child has excessive absences or tardiness and the parent does not attempt to intervene, these are examples of scenarios that result in educational neglect. We also see this situation when a parent fails to enroll their child in school without valid reasons or they do not address the special education needs of their child.
Emotional neglect is alleged when there has been an injury to the intellectual, emotional, or psychological development of a child as evidence by observable and substantial impairment in the child’s ability to function within a normal range of performance and behavior. We also see this when a child has been exposed to domestic violence.
Emotional neglect can be difficult to identify, because unlike physical abuse, there are no marks that are visible on a child. Instead, emotional neglect is identified by the behaviors of a child. This type of abuse is normally identified by a psychological evaluation of the child from a psychiatrist, psychologist, or medical doctor within the community.
Physical neglect is also defined by physical impairment of a child. For example, when a child is in a place with significant danger of physical injury, or there have been threats of violence or intimidation directed toward a child, this is physical neglect. Therefore, by placing a child in an environment which is dangerous to their health and welfare, that can result in a finding of physical neglect against a parent or guardian.
Medical neglect occurs when a child has a failure to thrive, meaning the child’s weight, height, and motor development fall significantly short of the average growth rates of other children. We also see this type of allegation when a parent or guardian has failed to seek medical care for their child when they are suffering from a serious health problem.
Many attorneys and parents do not know the state law behind Child Welfare cases because this is an extremely specialized area of the law with its own statutes and court rules. Therefore, it is extremely important to have an experienced advocate on your behalf to ensure that your rights and those of your children are protected against the state in dealing with allegations of abuse or neglect. For more information about the different forms of child abuse in Short Hills and how these allegations are handled, call today.