Definitions of Child Abuse and Neglect - Indiana

Date:

Physical Abuse

Citation: Ann. Code § 31-34-1-2

A child is a child in need of services if, before the child reaches age 18, any of the following occurs:

  • The child's physical or mental health is seriously endangered due to injury by the act or omission of the child's parent, guardian, or custodian.
  • The child is a victim of any of the following offenses:
    • Hazing
    • Battery, domestic battery, or aggravated battery
    • Strangulation
    • Female genital mutilation
    • Criminal neglect of a dependent child
  • The offense described in the preceding subsection was committed by the parent, guardian, or custodian of the child.
  • The child lives in the same household as an adult who committed any of the preceding offenses or the offense of murder, causing suicide, manslaughter, or reckless homicide against another child who lives in the household, and either of the following apply:
    • The offense resulted in a conviction.
    • The person has been charged with committing an offense against another child who lives in the household and is awaiting trial.

Evidence that the illegal manufacture of a drug or controlled substance is occurring on the property where a child resides creates a rebuttable presumption that the child's physical or mental health is seriously endangered.

Neglect

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 31-34-1-1; 31-34-1-9; 31-34-1-10; 31-34-1-11

A child is a 'child in need of services' if, before the child reaches age 18, any of the following applies:

  • The child's physical or mental condition is seriously impaired or seriously endangered because of the inability, refusal, or neglect of the child's parent, guardian, or custodian to supply the child with necessary food, clothing, shelter, medical care, education, or supervision, and either of the following applies:
    • The parent, guardian, or custodian is financially able to do so.
    • The parent, guardian, or custodian have failed, refused, or is unable to seek financial or other reasonable means to do so.
  • The child is born with fetal alcohol syndrome; neonatal abstinence syndrome; or any amount, including a trace amount, of a controlled substance or a legend drug in the child's body.
  • The child has an injury, abnormal physical or psychological development, symptoms of neonatal intoxication or withdrawal, or is at a substantial risk of a life-threatening condition that arises or is substantially aggravated because the child's mother used alcohol, a controlled substance, or a legend drug during pregnancy.

The term 'child in need of services' includes a child with a disability who is deprived of nutrition that is necessary to sustain life or is deprived of medical or surgical intervention that is necessary to remedy or ameliorate a life-threatening medical condition if the nutritional, medical, or surgical intervention is generally provided to similarly situated children with or without disabilities.

Sexual Abuse/Exploitation

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 31-34-1-3; 31-34-1-4; 31-34-1-3.5; 31-9-2-133.1

A child is a 'child in need of services' if, before the child reaches age 18, the child is the victim of an offense, as defined in the criminal statutes, pertaining to any of the following:

  • Rape
  • Child molesting
  • Child exploitation or possession of child pornography
  • Child solicitation or seduction
  • Sexual battery
  • Sexual misconduct with a minor
  • Indecent exposure
  • Prostitution
  • Promoting prostitution or juvenile prostitution
  • Incest
  • Human or sexual trafficking (as defined in § 31-9-2-133.1)

A child is a 'child in need of services' if, before the child reaches age 18, the child lives in the same household as an adult who committed or has been charged with a human or sexual trafficking offense.

A child is a 'child in need of services' if, before the child reaches age 18, the child's parent, guardian, or custodian allows the child to do the following:

  • To participate in an obscene performance
  • To commit a sex offense prohibited by criminal statute

A child is considered a victim of human or sexual trafficking regardless of whether the child consented to any of the preceding conduct.

The term 'victim of human or sexual trafficking' refers to a child who is recruited, harbored, transported, or engaged in any of the following:

  • Forced labor
  • Involuntary servitude
  • Prostitution
  • Juvenile prostitution, as defined in § 35-31.5-2-178.5
  • Child exploitation, as defined in § 35-42-4-4(b)
  • Marriage, unless authorized by a court under § 31-11-1-7
  • Trafficking for the purpose of prostitution, juvenile prostitution, or participation in sexual conduct, as defined in § 35-42-4-4(a)(4)
  • Human trafficking, as defined in § 35-42-3.5-0.5

Emotional Abuse

Citation: Ann. Code § 31-34-1-2

A child is a 'child in need of services' if the child's mental health is seriously endangered by an act or omission of the child's parent, guardian, or custodian.

Abandonment

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 31-21-2-2; 31-9-2-0.4; 31-9-2-0.5

'Abandoned' means left without provision for reasonable and necessary care or supervision.

'Abandoned child' means a child who is or who appears to be no more than 30 days old and whose parent has knowingly or intentionally left the child with an emergency medical services provider and did not express an intent to return for the child.

The term 'abandoned infant' means either of the following:

  • A child who is younger than 12 months old and whose parent, guardian, or custodian has knowingly or intentionally left the child in an environment that endangers the child's life or health or in a hospital or medical facility and has no reasonable plan to assume the care, custody, and control of the child
  • A child who is or appears to be no more than 30 days old and whose parent has knowingly and intentionally left the child with an emergency medical services provider and did not express an intent to return for the child

Standards for Reporting

Citation: Ann. Code § 31-33-5-1

A report is required when an individual has reason to believe that a child is a victim of child abuse or neglect.

Persons Responsible for the Child

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 31-9-2-0.5; 31-34-1-1 through 31-34-1-5

Responsible persons include the child's parent, guardian, or custodian.

Exceptions

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 31-34-1-12; 31-34-1-13; 31-34-1-14; 31-34-1-15

A child is not a 'child in need of services' if any of the following apply:

  • The presence of a legend drug or controlled substance was a result of a valid medical prescription.
  • A parent fails to provide specific medical treatment for a child because of legitimate and genuine religious beliefs. This presumption does not do any of the following:
    • Prevent a court from ordering medical services when the health of the child requires it
    • Apply to situations in which the child's life or health is in serious danger

This chapter does not limit either of the following:

  • The right of the parent to use reasonable corporal punishment to discipline the child
  • The lawful practice or teaching of religious beliefs