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When to Report Issues to Child Protective Services

If you suspect a child or adolescent is being neglected or abused, it is important you report your suspicions right away. Failure to do so can result in harm to that child or adolescent. To help you understand how to detect child abuse and when you should report your suspicions, we have answered a few questions, which can be found below:

1. What is Child Abuse?

Legally, the definition of child abuse can be any one of the following:

  • When a person causes a physical injury to a child intentionally;
  • When a person abuses a child sexually (Including sexual exploitation and sexual assault);
  • When a person is willfully cruel to a child or punishes a child unjustifiably; or
  • When a person severely or generally neglects a child and the child’s needs.

2. What are Some Indicators of Abuse?

In many cases, it is easy to determine whether a child has been abused. Below, we have listed some common indicators:

  • The child has burns, bruises, cuts, or swelling on his/her body that seem to have been caused intentionally.
  • There are handprints, belt marks, pinch marks, or bite marks on the child’s body.
  • The child explains that an abusive person caused the injury.
  • The injuries are unusual for that child’s age group.
  • The injuries are not explainable or there are conflicting explanations for the child’s injuries.
  • The child acts fearful, compliant, or passive.
  • The child’s caretaker tries to conceal the child’s injuries.

3. Is Neglect Considered Child Abuse?

Neglect occurs when the child’s caretaker neglects treatment or provides maltreatment to the child, which causes harm to the child’s health or wellbeing. Below is a list of common indicators of neglect:

  • The caretaker has not provided the child with adequate dental or medical care.
  • The child appears hungry or lethargic on a regular basis.
  • The child is consistently dirty or not dressed appropriately for various weather conditions.
  • It is obvious that the child is not provided with constant supervision.
  • The child’s home poses health risks.

4. Who Do I Contact?

If you suspect a child is being abused or has been abused, it is crucial that you report it right away. First, it is recommended that you contact the Social Services Agency right away at (714) 940-1000 or toll-free at (800) 207-4464. These phone lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If the child is a family member or a close loved one, it is important you also seek experienced legal representation right away. To learn more about when you should report child abuse, check out this page or read this parent guide.

At The Buncher Law Corporation, our Irvine family lawyers are committed to obtaining the most positive results for our clients. Our team truly cares about your family. That is why we are here. When you are aware that a child is involved in a hostile situation, you need to call our team. When you entrust us with your case, we will examine every aspect of your situation and determine who should be held accountable.

Do not wait to retain the legal representation you need. Call the Irvine family attorneys at The Buncher Law Corporation and work with a certified family law specialist that can get you and your family on the path towards a promising future!

Helpful Family Law Resources

Family law can be complex, but there are plenty of resources available to assist you. Browse through the various resources our team provides to help simplify your legal process in every way possible.

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