What should be reported to Children’s Services?

Child abuse and neglect comes in many forms and can be an act or an omission that harms a child.

Child abuse categories are outlined in Penal Code Section 11165 and include: Sexual Abuse, Neglect (severe and general), Physical Abuse (willful harming or endangering of a child and unlawful corporal punishment or injury), Emotional Abuse, Abuse or Neglect in out of home care, and Maternal Substance Abuse. The risk to children when Domestic Violence is occurring in the home is also included in the Neglect category.

Physical abuse is defined as non-accidental physical trauma or injury by a parent or caretaker on a child. It also includes a parent's or a caregiver's failure to protect a child from another person who perpetrates physical abuse on a child. In its most severe form, physical abuse causes great bodily harm or death.

Sexual Abuse includes penetration or external touching of a child's intimate parts, oral sex with a child, indecent exposure, using a child for prostitution, the manufacturing of child pornography, or any other sexual act performed in a child's presence for sexual gratification. Child sexual abuse also includes the willful failure of a parent or caretaker to make reasonable efforts to stop child sexual abuse by another person.

Emotional Abuse includes, but is not limited to, verbal assaults, ignoring and indifference or constant family conflict.

Neglect includes any situation where a child does not receive proper care and/or is exposed to hazardous conditions such as drugs, domestic violence, or other issues which threaten the safety and well being of the child.