Definitions of Child Abuse and Neglect - North Carolina

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Physical Abuse

Citation: Gen. Stat. § 7B-101

'Abused juvenile' means any child younger than age 18 who is found to be a minor victim of human trafficking under § 14-43.15 or whose parent, guardian, custodian, or caregiver does any of the following:

  • Inflicts or allows to be inflicted upon the child a serious physical injury by other than accidental means
  • Creates or allows to be created a substantial risk of serious physical injury to the child by other than accidental means
  • Uses or allows to be used upon the child cruel or grossly inappropriate procedures or cruel or grossly inappropriate devices to modify behavior
  • Encourages, directs, or approves of delinquent acts involving moral turpitude committed by the juvenile
  • Commits or allows to be committed the offense of human trafficking, involuntary servitude, or sexual servitude against the child

This term includes any juvenile younger than age 18 who is a victim or is alleged to be a victim of human trafficking, involuntary servitude, or sexual servitude, regardless of the relationship between the victim and the perpetrator.

Neglect

Citation: Gen. Stat. § 7B-101

A 'neglected juvenile' is any juvenile under age 18 to whom any of the following apply:

  • Who is found to be a minor victim of human trafficking under § 14-43.15
  • Whose parent, guardian, custodian, or caregiver does any of the following:
    • Does not provide proper care, supervision, or discipline
    • Abandons the juvenile
    • Has not provided or arranged for the provision of necessary medical or remedial care
    • Has refused to follow the recommendations of the Juvenile and Family Team made pursuant to article 27A of this chapter
    • Creates or allows to be created a living environment that is injurious to the juvenile's welfare
    • Has participated or attempted to participate in the unlawful transfer of custody of the juvenile under § 14-321.2
    • Has placed the juvenile for care or adoption in violation of law

In determining whether a child is a neglected juvenile, it is relevant whether that child lives in a home where another child has died as a result of suspected abuse or neglect or has been subjected to abuse or neglect by an adult who regularly lives in the home.

'Serious neglect' means conduct, behavior, or inaction of the juvenile's parent, guardian, custodian, or caregiver that evidences a disregard of consequences of such magnitude that the conduct, behavior, or inaction constitutes an unequivocal danger to the juvenile's health, welfare, or safety but does not constitute abuse.

A 'dependent juvenile' is a juvenile in need of assistance or placement because of either of the following:

  • The juvenile has no parent, guardian, or custodian responsible for the juvenile's care or supervision.
  • The juvenile's parent, guardian, or custodian is unable to provide for the juvenile's care or supervision and lacks an appropriate alternative child care arrangement.

Sexual Abuse/Exploitation

Citation: Gen. Stat. § 7B-101

The term 'abused juvenile' includes any child younger than age 18 who is found to be a minor victim of human trafficking, under § 14-43.15, or whose parent, guardian, custodian, or caregiver commits, permits, or encourages the commission of a violation of the following laws regarding sexual offenses by, with, or upon the child:

  • Forcible rape, statutory rape of a child by an adult, or first-degree statutory rape
  • A forcible sex offense, statutory sexual offense with a child by an adult, or first-degree statutory sexual offense
  • Sexual activity by a substitute parent or custodian
  • Sexual activity with a student
  • Unlawful sale, surrender, or purchase of a minor
  • A crime against nature or incest
  • Preparation of obscene photographs, slides, or motion pictures of the juvenile
  • Employing or permitting the juvenile to assist in a violation of the obscenity laws
  • Dissemination of obscene material to the juvenile
  • Displaying or disseminating material harmful to the juvenile
  • First- and second-degree sexual exploitation of the juvenile
  • Promoting the prostitution of the juvenile
  • Taking indecent liberties with the juvenile

Emotional Abuse

Citation: Gen. Stat. § 7B-101

The term 'abused juvenile' includes any child younger than age 18 whose parent, guardian, custodian, or caregiver creates or allows to be created serious emotional damage to the child. Serious emotional damage is evidenced by a child's severe anxiety, depression, withdrawal, or aggressive behavior toward him- or herself or others.

Abandonment

Citation: Gen. Stat. § 7B-101

The term 'neglected juvenile' includes a child who has been abandoned.

Standards for Reporting

Citation: Gen. Stat. § 7B-301

A report is required when any person has cause to suspect that any juvenile is abused, neglected, or dependent or has died as the result of maltreatment.

Persons Responsible for the Child

Citation: Gen. Stat. § 7B-101

A 'relative' is an individual directly related to the juvenile by blood, marriage, or adoption, including a grandparent, sibling, aunt, or uncle.

'Responsible individual' means a parent, guardian, custodian, or caregiver, or individual responsible for subjecting a juvenile to human trafficking who abuses or seriously neglects a juvenile.

The term 'caretaker' means any person other than a parent, guardian, or custodian who has responsibility for the health and welfare of a juvenile in a residential setting, including any of the following:

  • A stepparent, foster parent, or an adult member of the juvenile's household
  • An adult relative entrusted with the juvenile's care
  • A potential adoptive parent during a visit or trial placement with a juvenile in the custody of a department
  • Any person such as a house parent or cottage parent who has primary responsibility for supervising a juvenile's health and welfare in a residential child care facility or residential educational facility
  • Any employee or volunteer of a division, institution, or school operated by the Department of Health and Human Services

Exceptions

No exceptions are specified in statute.