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Governor’s Office


What is Child Abuse and Neglect?

CODE OF MARYLAND REGULATIONS (COMAR) defines child abuse and child neglect as:

  • Physical injury not necessarily visible of a child under circumstances that indicate that a child’s health or welfare is harmed or at substantial risk of being harmed.
  • The failure to give proper care and attention to a child including the leaving a child unattended where the child’s health or welfare is harmed or a child is placed in substantial risk of harm.
  • An act or acts involving sexual molestation or exploitation whether physical injuries are sustained or not.
  • Identifiable and substantial impairment of a child’s mental or psychological ability to function.
  • Finding credible evidence that has not been satisfactorily refuted that physical abuse, neglect or sexual abuse occurred.