Definitions of Child Abuse & Neglect

Child Maltreatment Screening Guidelines (PDF)

Physical Abuse 

Any physical injury, mental injury, or threatened injury inflicted by a person responsible for the child's care on a child other than by accidental means, or any physical or mental injury that cannot reasonably be explained by the child's history of injury, or any aversive and deprivation procedures that have not been authorized under Section 245.825.  Abuse DOES NOT include reasonable discipline of a child administered by a parent or legal guardian. 

Neglect

Failure by a person responsible for a child's care to supply a child with necessary food, clothing, shelter, or health, medical, or other care required for the child's physical or mental health when reasonably able to do so; failure to protect a child from conditions or actions which immediately or seriously endanger the child's physical or mental health when reasonably able to do so; failure to provide for necessary supervision or child care arrangements appropriate for a child after considering factors of the child's age, mental ability, physical condition, length of absence, or environment, when the child is unable to care for the child's own basic needs of safety, or the basic needs or the safety of another child in their care; failure to ensure that the child is educated as defined in Section 128.22 and 260.155, Subd 9. (M.S.  626.556).

Sexual Abuse

The subjection of a child by a person responsible for the child's care, by a person who has a significant relationship to the child, as defined in Section 609.341, or by a person in a position of authority, as defined in Section 609.341, Subd. 10, to any act which constitutes a violation of Section 609.34, criminal sexual conduct in the first degree, second degree, third degree, fourth degree, or fifth degree.  Sexual abuse also includes any act which involves a minor which constitutes a violation of prostitution offenses under Section 609.321 to 609.324, or 617.246.  Sexual abuse includes threatened sexual abuse.

Mental Injury

An injury to the psychological capacity or emotional stability of a child as evidenced by an observable or substantial impairment in the child's ability to function within a normal range of performance and behavior with due regard to the child's culture.

Threatened Injury

A statement, overt act, condition, or status that represents a substantial risk of physical or sexual abuse or mental injury.