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A person under the age of 18 years.

Child Abandonment

May exist when the parent's relinquish their caregiving responsibility, and there is no current caregiver or the current caregiver can no longer provide care.

Child Abuse: Physical

Occurs when serious harm is inflicted non-accidentally on a child by any person age fourteen (14) years or older.

Child Abuse: Sexual: Exploitation

Sexual use of a child for sexual arousal, gratification, advantage, or profit.

Child Abuse: Sexual: Molestation

Sexual conduct with a child when such contact, touching, or interaction over or under the child’s clothes is used for arousal or gratification of sexual needs or desires. 

Child Abuse: Sexual: Penetration

Any intrusion or entrance, however slight, through the use of digits (i.e., fingers or toes); through the use of an inanimate object; or between the sex organ, mouth, or anus of one person and the sex organ, mouth, or anus of another person.

Child Neglect: Abandonment

May exist when the parents' relinquish their caregiving responsibility, and there is no current caregiver or the current caregiver can no longer provide care.

Child Neglect: Educational

DHR does not investigate as abuse/neglect reports of a child not attending school. Truancy issues are generally handled by the school district and court having jurisdiction in the child’s county of residence. 

Child Neglect: Inadequate Supervision

Failure to provide supervision that protects children from serious physical harm or sexual abuse.

Child Neglect: Mental Abuse/Neglect

Extreme and aberrant behavior that directly results in severe impairment to a child’s functioning.

Child Neglect: Negligent Treatment

Occurs when parents or primary caregivers negligently fail to protect children from a threat of serious harm. 

Child Protection Team

Under Code of Alabama § 26-16-50 (1975), "The Department of Human Resources shall provide for the development and coordination of the multi-disciplinary child protection teams created by this article and for the services to be provided by such teams throughout the state. Such teams shall be composed of representatives from the local department of human resources, the local law enforcement agencies, the local district attorneys' office, and the local educational agencies. The teams may also include representatives from the local health field, mental health services, local social service agencies, and local members of the legal profession.” 

Children's Advocacy Centers

Agencies that help coordinate investigations of child abuse by providing a child-friendly location for interviews and medical examinations and by coordinating services for children suspected of being abused. They offer assistance to the Alabama Department of Human Resources, the District Attorney’s Office, and law enforcement agencies, by using expertise in the areas of interviewing, counseling, and testimony on behalf of the child.

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