If you suspect a child is being abused or neglected, report it:
What is Child Abuse?
According to Vermont law: An “abused or neglected child” is a child whose physical health, psychological growth, and development or welfare is harmed or is at substantial risk of harm by the acts or omissions of his or her parent or other person responsible for the child's welfare.
An “abused or neglected child” can also mean a child who is sexually abused or at substantial risk of sexual abuse by any person.
Reporting child abuse can help prevent further harm.
Harm to a child can occur by:
- Physical injury: death, or permanent or temporary disfigurement or impairment of any bodily organ or function by other than accidental means
- Emotional maltreatment: a pattern of malicious behavior which results in impaired psychological growth and development
- Failure to supply the child with adequate food, clothing, shelter, or health care
- Abandonment of the child
- Sexual abuse: any act or acts by any person involving sexual molestation or exploitation of a child including but not limited to incest, prostitution, rape, sodomy, or any lewd and lascivious conduct involving a child. Sexual abuse also includes the aiding, abetting, counseling, hiring, or procuring of a child to perform or participate in any photograph, motion picture, exhibition, show, representation, or other presentation which, in whole or in part, depicts a sexual conduct, sexual excitement or sadomasochistic abuse involving a child.
"Risk of harm" means a significant danger that a child will suffer serious harm other than by accidental means, which harm would be likely to cause physical injury, neglect, emotional maltreatment or sexual abuse.
A person responsible for a child's welfare” includes the child's parent; guardian; foster parent; any other adult residing in the child's home who serves in a parental role; an employee of a public or private residential home, institution or agency; or other person responsible for the child's welfare while in a residential, educational, or child care setting, including any staff person.
Help is available. If you have concerns for a child, or are worried about your own actions or feelings, please explore this website or contact the Vermont Department of Children and Families.