Lesson 1 - What to Report: Neglect

Neglect refers to the negligent treatment or the maltreatment of a child by his/her caregiver that results in harm or could be harmful. The term includes both acts (e.g., locking a toddler in a hot car) and omissions (e.g., not providing food) on the part of the responsible person (P.C. 11165.2).

General neglect means the failure of a caregiver of a child to provide adequate food, clothing, shelter, medical care, or supervision, where no physical injury to the child has occurred (P.C. 11165.2).

Severe neglect means the intentional failure of a caregiver to provide adequate food, clothing, shelter, or medical care. "Severe neglect" also means those situations of neglect where any person having the care or custody of a child willfully causes or permits the person or health of the child to be placed in a situation such that his or her person or health is endangered (P.C. 11165.2).

Other forms of neglect include

  • Medical neglect, such as not providing appropriate medical care or dental care
  • Emotional neglect, such as not interacting with an infant or child
  • Educational neglect, such as not enrolling a child in school or providing proper home-schooling

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