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Notes For Fact Sheet

Federal Law: Child Neglect LEGISLATION


● Federal legislation gives a definition to child abuse and neglect, providing a minimum
foundation for state laws.
● Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), (42 U.S.C.A 5106g) was
last amended in 2010 and states child abuse/neglect is
“Any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker which results in death,
serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation; or an act or failure to act
which presents an imminent risk of serious harm.”

● Survivors experience psychological issues= ex: attention/language deficits and/or reduced
mental function and academic success.
● “...neglect is a separate crime to abuse, though in most other states it's considered part of
child abuse.”
○ “Many states have exemptions for religion - if a parent fails to provide medical
care to his or her child because of their religious belief, then they will not be
found guilty of neglect. In Pennsylvania, the law goes even further: extreme
poverty will exempt a parent of responsibility for neglect.”

Types of Neglect:
● “Neglect is the failure of a parent, guardian, or other caregiver to provide for a child’s
basic needs. Neglect may be:
Physical (e.g., failure to provide necessary food or shelter, or lack of appropriate supervision)
Medical (e.g., failure to provide necessary medical or mental health treatment)
Educational (e.g., failure to educate a child or attend to special education needs)
Emotional (e.g., inattention to a child’s emotional needs, failure to provide psychological care, or
permitting the child to use alcohol or other drugs)”

Physical Neglect
● Code of Virginia § 63.2-100 : statutory foundation for physical neglect definition
The Virginia Administrative Code provides the regulatory definition for physical neglect:
● (22 VAC 40-705-30 B). Physical neglect occurs when one or more of the TYPES OF
PHYSICAL NEGLECT (listed below) takes place and thus threatens the health/safety of
a child. These types are defined further in VA Code Sec. 63.2-100
(22 VAC 40-705-30 B1). Can happen once or multiples times, it’s still physical neglect if
it poses as a threat to the child

Different types of PHYSICAL NEGLECT:

● Abandonment
● Inadequate Supervision
● Inadequate Clothing
● Inadequate Shelter
● Inadequate Personal Hygiene
● Inadequate Food
● Malnutrition
● Knowingly put child in supervision of child offender
● Failure to Thrive
● Other

2.4.3 Family poverty and lack of resources

(22 VAC 40-705-30 B). In situations where the neglect is the result of family poverty and there
are no outside resources available to the family, the parent or caretaker shall not be determined to
have neglected the child; however, the local department may provide appropriate services to the

Mental Abuse/Neglect
The Virginia Administrative Code defines mental abuse/neglect.
(22 VAC 40-705-30 D). Mental abuse/neglect occurs when parent or guardian inflicts or allows
others to inflict mental harm in any other form than an accident. Mental abuse/neglect is also
defined as the “substantial risk of impairment of mental functions.”

Must Be Proved by Professional Documentation

● psychiatric evaluations or examinations
● psychological evaluations or examinations
● written summaries and letters
Written By…
● Psychiatrists
● Psychologists
● Licensed Professional Counselors (L.P.C.)
● Licensed Clinical Social Workers (L.C.S.W.)
● “any person acting in a professional capacity and providing therapy or services to a
child or family in relationship to the alleged mental abuse.”

National Child Neglect/Abuse Stats (2012)

● In US:
○ 78.3% of child maltreatment victims=neglected
○ 18.3% of child maltreatment victims=physical abuse
○ 9.3% of child maltreatment= sexual abuse
○ 2,200 children died of abuse/neglect (over 70% due to neglect)
VA Child Neglect/Abuse Stats
● approximately 60% of child deaths are wrongly reported as accidents.
● Virginia Department of Social Services (DSS)-49,868 children in VA reported as
abuse/neglect victims. 6,592 / 29,868 were “founded reports.” In other words, there was
sufficient evidence and evidence review to prove the case met the requirements/criteria to
be considered one of abuse or neglect.
● 32% of cases reported involved children younger than 4 and 75% were younger than 12
● “The most common type of abuse was neglect -- a failure to provide adequate food,
shelter, clothing, or supervision. Sixty-eight percent of Virginia's child abuse victims in
2015 were white; the remainder were black (33%) or Asian (1%).”
This is important as child NEGLECT is more of a prominent issue that is not
addressed enough in comparison to child ABUSE, which generally go hand in hand.

Signs Of Child Neglect

If a Child...
● misses school often
● Begs for or steals food and/or money
● Shows signs of neglected medical or dental care
● Does not have up to date or have at all immunizations or glasses
● Appears/smells dirty on multiple occasions
● Does not have appropriate clothing for severe weather/cold weather
● Uses illegal substances
● Says there is no guardian at home that cares for them

Contacts for more information/interviews:

Rosemont Boys and Girls Club Unit https://www.bgca.org/get-involved/find-a-
Virginia Department of Social Services: https://www.dss.virginia.gov/family/cps/index.cgi
801 E. Main Street
Richmond, VA 23219
Virginia Child Abuse/Neglect Hotline:
Virginia: 1-800-552-7096
Out-of-State: 804-786-8536

Virginia Board of Social Work https://www.dhp.virginia.gov/social/social_board.htm

Board of Social Work
Perimeter Center
9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 300
Henrico Virginia 23233-1463
Phone: (804) 367-4441
Fax: (804) 527-4435
Case Analysis (10/15/17)
Part 1:
Police in Stamford, Connecticut found a 14 month old boy in a home filled with trash, half-eaten
food, and empty vodka bottles. He was covered in feces and bugs and was severely malnourished
and dehydrated. His mother, Vouk, called 911 because she felt very sick. She was also
malnourished and dehydrated, however this was due to her own drinking and inability to care for
herself. The father, Kotsopey, was at the house as well; drunk and passed out. The child was
nursed and then the state Department of Children and Families placed him in foster care.
Meanwhile. Vouk and Kotsopey were treated in the hospital for a few days and were then
released and charged with one count of risk of injury to a minor. Kotsopey remained in jail on a
$25,000 bond, while Vouk was released on a promise to appear in court. It is unknown what the
court decided. However, the take away from the case, or summation would be that the parents’
alcoholism not only led to their own health problems, but the malnourishment and risk of death
for their baby.
Part 2:
This case is applicable to my paper because it is acts as an example and form of awareness to
how parents who may try to invest in taking care of their children, are impeded and risk
neglecting their children when they are incapable of taking care of themselves. Alcohol, drugs,
and other substances make it difficult and sometimes impossible for a parent(s) to care for a
child. Thus, alcoholism or drug use could be another indication/sign for observers to suspect
child neglect.
Proquest Article Analysis:
Childhood parental emotional maltreatment: A study of its consequences in adulthood
Part 1: Summary of article in own words
The article focused on the correlation of childhood parental neglect and emotional abuse/neglect
with the fear of intimacy and evidence of depression in adults. Emotional abuse and neglect is
hard to spot and thus treat because it leaves no evident mark or injury. However, it still comes
with impactful side effects that can cause a child to become an adult who lacks many social,
cognitive, and coping skills. The article defines childhood parental emotional neglect as a
parent(s) failing to nurture a child by not providing adequate and expected emotional support,
resulting in a number of mental lags including the inability to cope and skewed perceptions of
relationships. A parent may be emotionally neglectful or abusive if they do not respond to a
child’s emotional hardships in a nurturing or medically appropriate way. They are also
negligent/abusive if they criticize or bully their child emotionally in a harsh way, whether they
intend to do so or not. This being said, the scholarly article shares that multiple studies have
found there is a direct correlation between a child’s history with emotionally neglectful parents
and the child's intimacy and depressive issues as an adult. Negative events in adulthood affect
those who were emotionally neglected as children more than those that were not because they do
not know how to cope with their emotions. They have a harder time overcoming obstacles,
fostering a feeling of self worthlessness and frustration resulting in depressive symptoms. Along
with depression, studies find their is an obvious association between the same emotional neglect
as a child with an adult's inability to be intimate. Emotional neglect victims are not able to be
emotionally supportive or intimate with others because they associate closeness and intimacy
with the emotional abuse/neglect they received as a child, and are thus afraid to form
close/strong relationships. All of this was backed by the study also performed by the writers of
the scholarly journal. The study had 275 participants take a questionnaire that prompted answers
to questions about their childhood and the emotional support of their parents as well as about
their current intimacy and depressive symptoms. The researchers took the answers from all
participants and compared to find a correlation between childhood neglect and intimacy and
depression issues. The findings came up parallel with studies referenced by the writers of the
article and conductors of the described study: participants scores of childhood parental emotional
abuse proved to have an interrelationship to their fear of intimacy and depression.
Part 2: Explain how it can or cannot be used in your paper
This scholarly journal would make a great asset to my paper as it will help readers and audiences
to understand why the misunderstanding and under exaggeration of child neglect is such a
relevant issue. The impacts of childhood emotional neglect affect many functioning and active
adults, thus making an unwanted impact on society, impeding the creation of well functioning
and meaningful relationships as well as keeping society from socially advancing and becoming a
positive and interconnected entity.
Proquest Article:
● lifetime of official child maltreatment investigations in the US
● estimated that 37.4% of children in the US experience a CPS investigation by the time
they reach the age of 18. There was found to be a higher rate of CPS investigations
among African american children with 53% of african american children who had
experienced CPS, with hispanic children having 32% and white children having 28.2%.
● conclusion of the study/findings suggest that child maltreatment cases are more common
than speculated by the general public, and there needs to be increased preventative and
treatment resources in the area.
● the child maltreatment talked about includes neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, and
emotional abuse.
○ negative outcomes linked to child maltreatment:
■ Worsened general physical health
■ Inflated contingency of mischevious or risky behavior
■ Mental health issues
■ Weakened intellectual development and thus ability to deal with stress
■ Hindered cognitive augmentation
■ Increased susceptibility to violence
■ Increased mortality through adulthood

● Emanuel Wildeman and a number of other performed a study on “The prevalence of

confirmed maltreatment among US children” based upon only substantiated CPS reports
between 2004 and 2011. Through this study, Wildeman “estimated the lifetime childhood
maltreatment prevalence for US children as 12.5%” by the age of 18. However, this study
differs as it only takes into account substantiated CPS investigations, which in 2014,
made up only 21.9% of investigates CPS reports.
● A substantiated CPS report concludes that there was sufficient evidence for the case
worker to conclude a child was in fact treated poorly, whether that means abused or
● “A large and growing literature demonstrates that many unsubstantiated reports involve
high risk situations.”
● Studies and extensive research have concluded that there is virtually no distiguished
properties between the negative outcomes of child maltreatment of those investigations
that were substantiated and those that were not.
● It was also found that the age timeframe of a study concerning child maltreatment is
important in that studies includies the accounts of older children and young adults is less
accurate as the observers are asking the subjects to recount their childhood and
experiences with CPS over a long number of years.
● The study the article describes is uses the findings from the Wildeman study described
earlier, maltreatment data from the 2003-2014 National Child Abuse and Neglect Data
System, the Annual Child Files from 2003-2014, the national repository for child
maltreatment reports to CPS for all states and territories of the United States, and child
population data from the CDC. With all of this data, the researchers determined an
estimate for the lifetime risk of child maltreatment investigations for a child. This is what
they found:
○ “The cumulative rate of maltreatment investigations was 5.3% (99.9% confidence
interval [CI] = 5.3%, 5.3%) at age 0 and increased to 37.4% (99.9% CI = 37.3%,
37.5%) at age 17 years. By subtype, the cumulative risk through age 17 years was
25.2% (99.9% CI = 25.2%, 25.3%) for neglect, 11.5% (99.9% CI = 11.4%,
11.6%) for physical abuse, 4.1% (99.9% CI = 4.0%, 4.1%) for sexual abuse, and
3.5% (99.9% CI = 3.5%, 3.6%) for emotional abuse. The cumulative risk for
substantiated investigations was 11.8% (99.9% CI = 11.8%, 11.9%) at age 17
○ It was also found that African Americans were twice as likely to be investigated
by CPS for experiencing maltreatment as white children, most likely due to the
doubled number of African Americans experiencing negative outcomes associated
with maltreatment.

Mental Impact on Neglected Children:

The Bucharest Project
● 1989 Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu overthrown- discovered that 170,000
children were being raised in poor institutions
● Fox, Nelson & Zeanah: in 2000 they randomly chose 136 children who were living in the
Bucharest homes. Put half in Romanian foster homes that were financially supported by
the project and left the other half in the institutions. Researchers regularly came to assess
the children in the foster homes, the children still living in the institutions, and a control
group of children that never lived in an institution.
● “Institutionalized children had delays in cognitive function, motor development and
language. They showed deficits in socioemotional behaviors and experienced more
psychiatric disorders. They also showed changes in the patterns of electrical activity in
their brains, as measured by EEG.”
● Kids moved to foster homes saw significant increases in emotional and social skills, able
to make strong attachments/relationships with their foster families.
Those removed from the institution before the age of 2 saw the most improvement
● Children that were institutionalized had smaller brains, lacking gray and white matter
● "Children need to be in socially responsive situations. I personally think that there aren't
good institutions for young children," Fox says.
● Gunnar found that in children who emigrated from the Romanian orphanages to the
United States experiences a diminution of brain volume and slower in the maturation of
the prefrontal cortex.
● Psychologist and research scientist, Dr. Philip Fisher, at the University of Oregon,
worked with an studies American foster children at the parallel time of Gunnar’s study.
Prior to studying the children, Dr. Fisher believed the slowed brain development and
behavior of the children was associated with experienced physical abuse. However,
collaboration with Gunnar and other researchers led to the observation that the behavior
and brain development of the American foster children studied looked similar to that of
post-institutionalized children.
● Cortisol is characterized as spiking through times of stress. Dr. Fisher hypothesized that
because the foster children experienced and continue to experience stressful situations,
their cortisol levels would inherently be high. However, he found they in fact stayed very
● “Combing through the case records of the children in his sample, he discovered that
dysregulated cortisol was not associated with physical or sexual abuse, but with early
neglect. ‘This blunted daily pattern with low morning cortisol seemed to be a hallmark of
neglect,’ he says.”
● “One way that presents itself is that the kids don't show much brain response to corrective
feedback; instead, they often make the same mistakes over and over. Targeted
interventions may help those children learn to tune in to the important cues they're
missing, Fisher says.”
● “Despite progress, child neglect remains underfunded and understudied, says Wolfe.
Politically, it's a prickly subject. "Neglect is not a disease. It's entwined with the delivery
of proper social and medical services. It's embedded in socio economic disadvantage," he