Neglect is the failure of a parent, guardian, or other caregiver to provide for a child's basic needs. Neglect may be:
Physical (e.g., failure to provide necessary food or shelter, or lack of appropriate supervision) Medical (e.g., failure to provide necessary medical or mental health treatment)3 Educational (e.g., failure to educate a child or attend to special education needs) Emotional (e.g., inattention to a child's emotional needs, failure to provide psychological care, or permitting the child to use alcohol or other drugs) These situations do not always mean a child is neglected. Sometimes cultural values, the standards of care in the community, and poverty may be contributing factors, indicating the family is in need of information or assistance. When a family fails to use information and resources, and the child's health or safety is at risk, then child welfare intervention may be required. In addition, many States provide an exception to the definition of neglect for parents who choose not to seek medical care for their children due to religious beliefs that may prohibit medical intervention.4
Sexual abuse includes activities by a parent or caregiver such as fondling a child's genitals, penetration, incest, rape, sodomy, indecent exposure, and exploitation through prostitution or the production of pornographic materials.