Definitions of Child Abuse and Neglect - North Dakota

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Physical Abuse

Citation: Cent. Code §§ 50-25.1-02; 14-09-22

'Abused child' means an individual younger than age 18 who is suffering from abuse, as defined in § 14-09-22(1), caused by a person responsible for the child's welfare.

A child is abused when a parent, adult family or household member, guardian, or other custodian of any child willfully inflicts or allows to be inflicted upon the child mental injury or bodily injury, substantial bodily injury, or serious bodily injury, as defined by § 12.1-01-04. A child is abused when a person who provides care, supervision, education, or guidance for a child unaccompanied by the child's parent, adult family or household member, guardian, or custodian in exchange for money, goods, or other services and while providing such services commits an offense under this section.

Neglect

Citation: Cent. Code § 50-25.1-02

'Neglected child' means a child who, due to the action or inaction of a person responsible for the child's welfare, is subject to any of the following:

  • Is without proper care or control, subsistence, education as required by law, or other care or control necessary for the child's physical, mental, or emotional health, or morals, and is not due primarily to the lack of financial means of a person responsible for the child's welfare
  • Has been placed for care or adoption in violation of law
  • Has been abandoned
  • Is without proper care, control, or education as required by law, or other care and control necessary for the child's well-being because of the physical, mental, emotional, or other illness or disability of a person responsible for the child's welfare
  • Is in need of treatment and a person responsible for the child's welfare has refused to participate in treatment as ordered by the court
  • Was subject to prenatal exposure to chronic or severe use of alcohol or any controlled substance in a manner not lawfully prescribed by a practitioner
  • Is present in an environment subjecting the child to exposure of a controlled substance, chemical substance, or drug paraphernalia, including any amount of marijuana
  • Is a victim of human trafficking

'Prenatal exposure to a controlled substance' means use of a controlled substance by a pregnant woman for a nonmedical purpose during pregnancy, as evidenced by withdrawal symptoms in the child at birth, results of a toxicology test performed on the mother at delivery of the child at birth, or medical effects or developmental delays during the child's first year of life that medically indicate prenatal exposure to a controlled substance.

Sexual Abuse/Exploitation

Citation: Cent. Code § 50-25.1-02

'Sexually abused child' means an individual younger than age 18 who is subjected by a person responsible for the child's welfare or by any individual to sexual abuse, as described in §§ 12.1-20-01 through 12.1-20-07 (including gross sexual imposition, continuous sexual abuse of a child, sexual imposition, corruption or solicitation of minors, luring minors by computer or other electronic means, sexual abuse of wards, sexual exploitation by a therapist, or sexual assault) and §§ 12.1-20-11 through 12.1-20-12.2 (including incest, deviate sexual act, indecent exposure, or surreptitious intrusion) or sexual exploitation, as described in chapter 12.1-27.2 (sexual performances by children).

Emotional Abuse

Citation: Cent. Code § 50-25.1-02

A child is an 'abused child' when the person responsible for the child's welfare inflicts or allows to be inflicted upon the child a mental injury.

Abandonment

Citation: Cent. Code § 27-20.3-01

The term 'abandon' means the following:

  • Failure by a noncustodial parent, without justifiable cause, to communicate significantly with the child or to provide for the care and support of the child as required by law
  • Actions by a custodial parent that include the following:
    • Leaving the child for an indefinite period without making firm and agreed-upon plans with the child's immediate caregiver for the parents' resumption of physical custody
    • Following the child's birth or treatment at a hospital, failing to arrange for the child's discharge within 10 days after the child no longer requires hospital care
    • Willfully failing to furnish food, shelter, clothing, or medical attention that is reasonably sufficient to meet the child's needs

'Abandoned infant' means a child who has been abandoned before reaching age 1.

Standards for Reporting

Citation: Cent. Code § 50-25.1-03

A report is required when a mandatory reporter knows or has reasonable cause to suspect that a child is abused or neglected or has died as a result of abuse or neglect if the knowledge or suspicion is derived from information received by that individual in that individual's official or professional capacity.

Persons Responsible for the Child

Citation: Cent. Code § 50-25.1-02

'A person responsible for the child's welfare' means an individual who has responsibility for the care or supervision of a child and who is any of the following:

  • The child's parent, an adult family member of the child, any member of the child's household, the child's guardian, or the child's foster parent
  • An employee of, or any person providing care for the child in, a public or private school or child care setting

Exceptions

No exceptions are specified in statute.