What is considered as child abuse or neglect in Colorado?

No child should ever go through abuse or neglect. However, the problem with these terms is that they are broad and sometimes parents can abuse or neglect their child without even knowing that their actions classify as such. To prevent this, you need to know what actions Colorado considers as abusive or negligent.

What constitutes abuse or neglect?

The law in Colorado defines abuse as an injury to the child’s life or health. Abuse cannot only be sexual or physical. A child is also considered abused or neglected if:

  • They lack proper care
  • Their environment is unsafe
  • They lack the necessary education or medical care
  • They don’t have a home
  • They run away

If the court accuses a parent of abusing or neglecting their child, they will approve a case treatment plan for the family. If the parents do not follow the requirements of the plan, the court may terminate the parental rights.

Who can report child abuse or neglect?

In Colorado, anyone can report child abuse when they see or suspect it. However, some people are required to do so:

  • Doctors, hospital employees and medical professionals
  • Social workers, law enforcement officers and firefighters
  • Private or public school personnel
  • Commercial film or photographic print processors
  • Caretakers of children

These professionals will commit a class 3 misdemeanor if they see abuse and do not report it to the authorities.

How is child abuse reported?

A person must file a written report with a law enforcement agency to report a case of child abuse. The agency will provide the requirements of the report. The law protects any person who files a report from termination or civil and criminal liabilities.

Protecting children

All children deserve to have a good life. If the court accuses parents of abuse or neglect, the parents have the legal obligation of making things better for the kid. If they don’t adjust their behavior, the court can send the child to a foster home or to live independently. That way, the child will have a better quality of life.

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