Child Neglect

The neglect of a child tugs at almost everyone’s heart strings. Neglect can come in many forms, especially when it concerns a minor child. The four common forms of child neglect include physical neglect, educational neglect, psychological or emotional neglect, and medical neglect. Each one can have an everlasting effect on a child such as enduring psychological issues, language deficits and lower mental function. These are just some examples of issues that can forever change a young child’s mind and well-being. 

The most common form of child neglect is physical neglect. Physical neglect is the failure of a caregiver to provide the basic needs for a minor child. This would include food, water, clothing, and shelter in a safe and sanitary environment.  Physical neglect can also be attributed to a caregiver abandoning a minor child for an extended amount of time.

The next form of child neglect is educational neglect. This occurs when a caregiver does not enroll the minor child in school, whether public or private, or allows the minor child to skip school on a repeated basis. Attending a public or state-accredited private school is by law a requirement in every state, therefore, a caregiver can be found guilty for not enrolling or allowing a minor child to not attend school.

Psychological or emotional neglect can be a tricky form to see at times, however, it can have the most damaging effects on a child. This form of neglect can include lack of affection, ignoring a child’s basic needs, isolating the child from friends and family, and allowing the child to partake in drug or alcohol use. All of these behaviors in part can lead to psychological and emotional trauma for the minor child.

Medical neglect occurs when a caregiver fails to provide medical treatment to a minor child. However, there are some exceptions to this form of child neglect. In some states, a religious exception can be made for the caregiver to withhold medical treatment in lieu of religious practices.

Should you or someone you know be charged with child neglect or neglect in any form, speak with a skilled criminal defense attorney in Atlanta, GA to determine what legal options you have for your defense. The right attorney will be able to dissect your case and find any loopholes or discrepancies with the charges the prosecution is trying to pursue.

Thanks to Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. for their insight into criminal law and child neglect.