Call or Text For Free Consultation




Identifying Child Neglect and What to Do If You Come Across It

child neglect lawyer

 Child abuse is a heinous crime because it inflicts physical, emotional, and mental harm to a child. It is considered a serious crime in every state because children are unable to defend themselves against any kind of abuse from those with power over them.

The other end of the spectrum, negligence, is just as bad. It can be just as harmful to children as abuse. The American Society for the Proactive Care of Children (ASPCC) estimates that 1,840 children died from abuse and neglect in 2019. They also reveal that 72.9 percent of child abuse fatalities experienced neglect by one or both parents.

State laws exist to protect children from abuse and neglect, especially from the people they depend on for protection, care, and other basic necessities. If you suspect that a child you care for is suffering from neglect, consult our skilled family law attorneys in Long Island for your next steps.

Identifying Cases of Child Neglect

Child neglect is more than not giving children attention. It is the failure of a parent or legal guardian to provide for the basic needs of a child. Below are common examples of child neglect:

  • Not providing shelter, food, and clothing
  • Not sending children to school
  • Depriving children of medical treatment or medication when they need it
  • Not providing mental health and emotional support
  • Not vetting caretakers, nannies, and guardians properly
  • Leaving children exposed to violence, drugs, and situations that can cause them severe emotional trauma and fear
  • Allowing children to be subject to corporal punishment
  • Willingly succumbing to intoxicating substances without regard for the needs and safety of the children under their care.

Parents who are guilty of child neglect will brush their offenses under the rug and make it seem like their children are complaining for no reason; if a concerned party asks about their children’s well-being, neglectful parents may make light of the situation and reassure other people that their child is perfectly fine.

It would be best not to simply take the suspected neglectful parents’ word and think about the context of your concern, especially when the guilty party might fall into the following categories:

Causes of Child Neglect

Why would parents neglect their children? There are many possible reasons:

  • They don’t know any better because it is the kind of upbringing they experienced.
  • They are not ready for the responsibilities that come with parenthood.
  • They are suffering from mental disorders, substance abuse problems, or physical health problems.
  • They are poor and have no means to provide for their children’s basic needs.
  • They act according to their cultural practices or religious beliefs.

No matter the reason for neglecting parental responsibilities, parents and guardians who are guilty of child neglect can be subject to punishment for child abuse charges.

What to Do If You Discover a Victim of Child Neglect

Concerned citizens don’t need to present proof of abuse to relevant officials off about a possible case of child neglect. If there’s a child whom you suspect is being neglected by their parents or legal guardians, you can do any of the following:

  • Call Child Protective Services (CPS).
  • Call 911 if the child needs immediate medical attention.
  • Alternatively, you can take the child to the hospital yourself. Inform the doctor of a possible case of child abuse so that they can look for physiological signs to confirm your suspicion.
  • Observe the child in question and call CPS or the authorities immediately if you think the neglect is happening at the moment (i.e., an infant is left unattended in a house where a rowdy party is taking place)
  • Inform the police and let them confront the parents. Avoid confronting them yourself, especially if there’s a chance that the situation could escalate to violence.

Contact The Law Offices of Ian S. Mednick

The Law Offices of Ian S. Mednick is well-versed in the intricacies of divorce and family law in the State of New York and has experience handling high-profile divorce cases.

Call 631.787.8322 or contact us to schedule a free consultation.