Definitions of Child Abuse and Neglect - Connecticut

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Physical Abuse

Citation: Gen. Stat. § 46b-120

The term 'abused' means that any of the following applies to a child:

  • Has been inflicted with physical injury or injuries by other than accidental means
  • Has injuries that are inconsistent with the history given of them
  • Is in a condition that is the result of maltreatment that includes, but is not limited to, malnutrition, sexual molestation or exploitation, deprivation of necessities, emotional maltreatment, or cruel punishment

Neglect

Citation: Gen. Stat. § 46b-120

A child may be found 'neglected' who, for reasons other than being impoverished, has experienced any of the following:

  • Has been abandoned
  • Is being denied proper physical, educational, emotional, or moral care and attention
  • Is being permitted to live under conditions, circumstances, or associations injurious to the well-being of the child
  • Has been abused

A child may be found 'uncared for' who is homeless; whose home cannot provide the specialized care that the physical, emotional, or mental condition of the child requires; or who has been identified as a victim of trafficking, as defined in § 46a-170.

Sexual Abuse/Exploitation

Citation: Gen. Stat. § 46b-120

The term 'abuse' includes sexual molestation or exploitation.

Emotional Abuse

Citation: Gen. Stat. § 46b-120

The term 'abuse' includes emotional maltreatment.

Abandonment

Citation: Gen. Stat. § 46b-120

A child may be found 'neglected' who has been abandoned.

Standards for Reporting

Citation: Gen. Stat. § 17a-101a

A report is required when a mandatory reporter, in the ordinary course of their employment or profession, has reasonable cause to suspect or believe that any child under age 18 has been subjected to any of the following:

  • Has been abused or neglected
  • Has suffered a nonaccidental physical injury or an injury that is inconsistent with the history given of such injury
  • Is placed at imminent risk of serious harm

Persons Responsible for the Child

Citation: Gen. Stat. § 46b-120

Responsible persons include the child's parents or guardian.

Exceptions

Citation: Gen. Stat. § 46b-120

The treatment of any child by an accredited Christian Science practitioner, in lieu of treatment by a licensed practitioner of the healing arts, shall not of itself constitute neglect or maltreatment.