Abused Child Law and Legal Definition

Abused child refers to a child whose health or welfare is harmed or threatened by his/her parent, guardian, or other person exercising custodial control or supervision of the child.

The following is an example of a state law on abused child:

A child’s health or welfare is harmed or threatened with harm when the person exercising custodial control or supervision of the child:

a. inflicts or allows to be inflicted upon the child physical or emotional injury other than accidental means;

b. creates or allows to be created a risk of physical or emotional injury to the child by other than accidental means;

c. engages in a pattern of conduct that renders the parent incapable of caring for the immediate and ongoing needs of the child including, but not limited to, parental incapacity due to alcohol and other drug abuse;

d. continuously or repeatedly fails or refuses to provide essential parental care and protection for the child, considering the age of the child;

e. commits or allows to be committed an act of sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, or prostitution upon the child;

f. creates or allows to be created a risk that an act of sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, or prostitution will be committed upon the child;

g. abandons or exploits the child;

h. does not provide the child with adequate care, supervision, food, clothing, shelter, and education or medical care necessary for the child's well-being; or

i. fails to make sufficient progress toward identified goals as set forth in the court-approved case plan to allow for the safe return of the child to the parent that results in the child remaining committed to the cabinet and remaining in foster care for fifteen (15) of the most recent twenty-two (22) months. [KRS § 600.020].