Information about Abuse, Dependency, &  Neglect

Abused Child

An abused child is one who:

· Is the victim of a criminal sexual offense;

· is endangered as defined in the criminal law;

· Shows evidence of any intentionally cased physical or mental injury, or is the victim of an injury for which there is no reasonable explanation;

· Suffers physical or mental injury harmful or potentially harmful to the child’s health or welfare because of the acts ofthe parents, guardian or custodian; or

· Who is subjected to abuse outside the home.


Dependent Child

The concept of dependency is similar to that of neglect, except that the depend child’s condition or situation is not, in general, the fault of the parents, guardian or custodian. A dependent child is one:

· Who is homeless, destitute or without proper care or support;

· Who lacks proper care or support because of the mental or physical condition of the child’s parents, guardian or custodian;

· Whose condition or environment is such that the state must assume the guardianship of the child; or

· Who is in danger of being abused or neglected because he or she lives in a household where another household member has abused or neglected a child who lives in the household.


Neglected Child

A neglected child is one:

· Who has been abandoned;

· Who lacks proper care because of the faults or habits of the child's parents, guardian or custodian;

· Whose parents, guardian or custodian neglect or refuse to provide proper or necessary subsistence, education, medical or surgical care or treatment or other care necessary for the child’s health, morals or well-being;

· Whose parents, guardian or custodian neglect or refuse to provide the special care required by the child’s mental condition;

· Whose parents, guardian or custodian illegally gave, or attempted to give, custody of the child to another; or

· Who suffers physical or mental injury that harms, or threatens to harm, the child’s health or welfare because of the failure of the child’s parents, guardian or custodian to perform their duty according to Ohio law.


An abuse, neglect or dependency action begins with the State filing in court a complaint alleging that a child is abused, neglected or dependent. Along with the complaint, the State may seek a temporary order from the court removing the child from a dangerous environment or for the purpose of obtaining medical treatment.


Parents or guardians are notified of the filing of the legal action and receive a copy of the complaint along with any motions for temporary orders. The court schedules the case for an adjudication hearing where the court will determine whether the allegations of the complaint are true.


The court has multiple options in deciding what to do with a child determined to be dependent, neglected or abused. The options include, among others:


(1) Place the child under protective supervision


(2) Commit the child to the temporary custody of a public children services agency, a private child placing agency, either parent, a relative residing within or outside the state, or a probation officer for placement in a certified foster home, or in any other home approved by the court;


(3) Award legal custody of the child to either parent or another person;


(4) Commit the child to the permanent custody of an approved public or private agency


(5) Place the child in long-term foster care with an approved public or private agency; or


(6)         Place restrictions on the child, the child’s parents, guardian, custodian or any other person

Henry County Family Court