Child abuse is when a child is harmed, or at serious risk of harm, because of an action or failure to act on the part of the person responsible for the child’s welfare. This can include physical injury, neglect, or emotional abuse. An “abused or neglected child” can also mean a child who is sexually abused or at serious risk of sexual abuse by any person. 

Help is available. If you are worried about a child, or are worried about your own actions or feelings, please read this website or contact the  Vermont Department of Children and Families

Types of Harm to a Child
  • Not accidental physical harm 

  • Emotional harm, which is unkind behavior over time that hurts the mental and emotional growth and development of a child. 

  • Not giving a child enough food, clothing, housing, or health care 

  • Sexual abuse, or any sexual activity with a child. This can be any type of sexual contact or inappropriate sexual conversation, including texting, with a child. Sexual abuse also includes the involvement in having a child perform or participate in any pornographic picture, movie, or other presentation. 

Who is Responsible for a Child's Welfare

Any adult living in a child's home who takes care of the child like a parent is considered a person responsible for the child’s welfare. It also includes employees or people responsible for the child's care while in a residential, school or child care setting. 

Resource Description
Vermont Department for Children and Families  Supports for parents and families to prevent abuse and find services.
Parenting Support in Your Home  Nurse and family support home visitors for pregnant and parenting families with infants and young children.
Stop It Now!  Provides support, information, and resources to prevent sexual abuse. 
Prevent Child Abuse Vermont  Parenting support programs, healthy relationship programs, a helpline and other supports to end and prevent child abuse and neglect.  
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