Physical Neglect refers to a situation where a parent or caregiver doesn't provide the basic necessities that a child needs to survive and thrive. This includes basic physical needs like food, clothing and shelter, but also stretches to include a safe environment in which to live, free of violence and avoidable harm. Additionally, physical neglect can refer to child abandonment, inadequate adult supervision of a child, and rejecting a child in such a way that they are expelled from the home.
Failure or refusal to provide these necessities is viewed as a danger to the child’s physical health, well-being, and development. In Michigan, it is against the law to physically neglect a child that one is legally assigned to care for. This would include biological or stepchildren, foster and adopted children, and any child that a person has agreed to supervise, which would include children under the care of a babysitter or daycare provider.
Signs Of Physical Neglect In Children
Common signs of a neglected child can vary widely, depending upon the specific circumstances that the particular child experiences. However, common signs that a child is not receiving adequate care can include:
Inappropriate clothing for the weather (examples could include a child who never has a coat in the cold, or who is wearing summer shoes in the snow)
Poor hygiene (examples could include a child who is regularly unwashed, smells bad, or has uncombed hair)
Ongoing poor health (examples could include a child that is often tired, ailing or sick)
Delayed development (examples could include a child that struggles to meet their speech or motor skills development milestone during the appropriate time period )
Underweight or overweight (examples could include a child who is severely underweight because of not receiving enough nourishment )
Effects of Child Neglect
Physical neglect can have a significant and severe impact on a child's overall health and wellbeing. Failure to thrive, malnutrition, severe dehydration, ongoing and untreated illnesses, and exposure to harm due to being unsupervised are all examples of the consequences of physical neglect.
Additionally, there are lasting emotional and psychological consequences that can affect a child for the entirety of their lives. Low self esteem is a common side effect of neglect, which can result in substance abuse, promiscuity, and self destructive behaviors as the child gets older.
Children who are neglected often go on to develop depression, anxiety, and mental health disorders as they age. They are also considered to be more prone to violent behaviors and criminal activity.
Consequences Of Neglecting A Child
A person who is suspected of physically neglecting a child is likely to face investigation by CPS, or investigation by the police, or both simultaneously. The result of a police investigation could be, if the prosecutor believes that there is enough evidence of a crime, criminal charges against the accused.
If the investigation is carried out by CPS, and the complaint is "substantiated" which means that the agency believes that there is enough evidence to support a claim of neglect, a petition will be filed in the family court. This could result in either temporary or permanent loss of custody.
Either way, the results can be devastating. Jail time, prison time, loss of custody over your children, whatever form the results take, it is traumatic for both parents and children. But you don't have to do this alone.
Abuse And Neglect Defense Attorneys
The attorneys at Kronzek & Cronkright are skilled abuse and neglect attorneys, with decades of experience defending those who have been falsely accused of abusing or neglecting children.
Our firm has both skilled family law attorneys, and experienced criminal law attorneys. Which means that whether the investigation was conducted by CPS or the police, we can walk you through every aspect of your case. And we can represent you in family court or criminal court, or both courts, depending upon what your specific case calls for.
So if you or a loved one are facing allegations of child abuse or neglect, or are being investigated by either the police or CPS, you need to contact us immediately. We will work tirelessly to defend you and your family against allegations and lies, and work to ensure that your rights are properly defended.
Don't believe for a moment that this will go away if you ignore it, or that CPS or the police will realize that they've "got the wrong person”. You need a tenacious, hard working attorney that isn't afraid to go head-to-head with the state and with the prosecutor's office. Which is exactly what we are. So call us immediately if you are facing allegations of neglect. We can help.