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State Statutes Search

This page allows you to search State statutes for issues related to child abuse and neglect, child welfare, and adoption.
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Parental Drug Use as Child Abuse

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, download the PDF (554 KB) of this publication.

Citation: Cal. Health & Safety Code § 11379.7 (LexisNexis through 2012 Sess.) 

Statute Text:

Except as provided below, any person convicted of a violation of §11379.6(a) [manufacture of a controlled substance] or §11383 [possession of the chemicals or equipment used for such manufacture], or of an attempt to violate those sections, as those sections relate to methamphetamine or phencyclidine, when the commission or attempted commission of the crime occurs in a structure where any child under age 16 is present, shall, in addition and consecutive to the punishment prescribed for the felony of which he or she has been convicted, be punished by an additional term of 2 years in the State prison.

Any person convicted of a violation of § 11379.6(a) or § 11383, or of an attempt to violate those sections, as those sections relate to methamphetamine or phencyclidine, where the commission of the crime causes any child under age 16 to suffer great bodily injury, shall, in addition and consecutive to the punishment prescribed for the felony of which he or she has been convicted, be punished by an additional term of 5 years in the State prison.

As used in this section, 'structure' means any house, apartment building, shop, warehouse, barn, building, vessel, railroad car, cargo container, motor vehicle, housecar, trailer, trailer coach, camper, mine, floating home, or other enclosed structure capable of holding a child and manufacturing equipment.

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Kyla Candido's comment, November 5, 2013 10:46 PM
I think this goes under the umbrella of neglect because neglect can be caused by drug use by parents. There is little regarding the parents mental state or drug use, which is concerning because alcohol and drug abuse contribute greatly to how a child is treated. Again putting more concern into physical safety of a child (more laws regarding drug production in the same household as a child, concerning their physical health rather than the equally if not more important (because of neglect statistics) emotional and psychological trauma a child can experience when they are raised in a drug environment. I also think that psychological assessments should be mandatory for parents that are drug users.
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State Statutes Search

This page allows you to search State statutes for issues related to child abuse and neglect, child welfare, and adoption.
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Abandonment
Citation: Welf. & Inst. Code § 300

A child is considered dependent when:

The child has been left without any provision for support.Physical custody of the child has been voluntarily surrendered pursuant to § 1255.7 of the Health and Safety Code, and the child has not been reclaimed within the 14-day period specified in subdivision (e) of that section.The child's parent has been incarcerated or institutionalized and cannot arrange for the care of the child.A relative or other adult custodian with whom the child resides or has been left is unwilling or unable to provide care or support for the child, the whereabouts of the parent are unknown, and reasonable efforts to locate the parent have been unsuccessful.The child has been freed for adoption by one or both parents for 12 months by either relinquishment or termination of parental rights or an adoption petition has not been granted.
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State Statutes Search

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Sexual Abuse/Exploitation
Citation: Welf. & Inst. Code § 300; Penal Code § 11165.1

A child is considered dependent if he or she has been sexually abused; there is a substantial risk that the child will be sexually abused, as defined in § 11165.1 of the Penal Code, by his or her parent, guardian, or a household member; or the parent or guardian has failed to adequately protect the child from sexual abuse when the parent or guardian knew or reasonably should have known that the child was in danger of sexual abuse.

'Sexual abuse' means sexual assault or sexual exploitation as defined below:

'Sexual assault' includes rape, incest, sodomy, lewd or lascivious acts upon a child, or child molestation.'Sexual exploitation' refers to any of the following:Depicting a minor engaged in obscene acts; preparing, selling, or distributing obscene matter that depicts minors; employing a minor to perform obscene actsKnowingly permitting or encouraging a child to engage in, or assisting others to engage in, prostitution or a live performance involving obscene sexual conduct, or to either pose or model alone or with others for purposes of preparing a film, photograph, negative, slide, drawing, painting, or other pictorial depiction involving obscene sexual conductDepicting a child in, or knowingly developing, duplicating, printing, or exchanging any film, photograph, videotape, negative, or slide in which a child is engaged in an act of obscene sexual conduct
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Kyla Candido's comment, November 5, 2013 10:13 PM
Sexual abuse laws are very thorough and address non-physical acts that are included in child abuse. This is very important especially with the very prevalent issue of child sex trafficking and child pornography. I am curious as to why this section has such strong and concrete laws more than the others.
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State Statutes Search

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Physical Abuse
Citation: Welf. & Inst. Code § 300

A child may be considered dependent when:

The child has suffered, or there is a substantial risk that the child will suffer, serious physical harm inflicted nonaccidentally upon the child by the child's parent or guardian. For the purposes of this subdivision, a court may find there is a substantial risk of serious future injury based on the manner in which a less serious injury was inflicted, a history of repeated inflictions of injuries on the child or the child's siblings, or a combination of these and other actions by the parent or guardian that indicate the child is at risk of serious physical harm.The child is younger than age 5 and has suffered severe physical abuse by a parent or by any person known by the parent, if the parent knew or reasonably should have known that the person was physically abusing the child.The child's parent or guardian caused the death of another child through abuse or neglect.The child has been subjected to an act or acts of cruelty by the parent or guardian or a member of his or her household, or the parent or guardian has failed to adequately protect the child from an act or acts of cruelty when the parent or guardian knew or reasonably should have known that the child was in danger of being subjected to an act or acts of cruelty.

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Kyla Candido's comment, November 5, 2013 9:54 PM
For the purposes of this subdivision, 'severe physical abuse' means:<br><br>Any single act of abuse that causes physical trauma of sufficient severity that, if left untreated, would cause permanent physical disfigurement, permanent physical disability, or death<br>Any single act of sexual abuse that causes significant bleeding, deep bruising, or significant external or internal swelling<br>More than one act of physical abuse, each of which causes bleeding, deep bruising, significant external or internal swelling, bone fracture, or unconsciousness<br>The willful, prolonged failure to provide adequate food
Kyla Candido's comment, November 5, 2013 9:55 PM
Physical abuse
Kyla Candido's comment, November 5, 2013 11:37 PM
The physical abuse section is the largest and most in depth section even though it is the most uncommon form of child abuse.
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Stanford Daily | Race plays role in juvenile sentencing, study finds

Breaking news from the Farm since 1892
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Kyla Candido's comment, October 4, 2013 12:25 PM
Studies show that if people know the offender is black, they are more likely in favor of harsher sentencing for juveniles. The study presented a teenage boy who raped an elderly woman, and told half the people the offender was black and the other half that he was white. The people that were told that he was black were more in favor of sentence without parol for minors. This shows that even amongst minors, race is just as big a factor in court as with adults. I think a lot of this is unconscious decisions, people don't even realize they are giving preference to the white male, which is even more concerning, because the racism is so internalized that people can't even recognize the prejudice.
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Appeals Courts Reject Challenges to Child Welfare Consent Decrees: National Center for Youth Law - youthlaw.org

Appeals Courts Reject Challenges to Child Welfare Consent Decrees: National Center for Youth Law - youthlaw.org | child rights | Scoop.it
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Child neglect accounts for 75% of reported abuse cases - USA TODAY

Child neglect accounts for 75% of reported abuse cases - USA TODAY | child rights | Scoop.it
Guardian Express Child neglect accounts for 75% of reported abuse cases USA TODAY A new Institute of Medicine report looks at trends in child abuse and neglect, research, treatments, and effective interventions 20 years after an initial study shed...
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Kyla Candido's comment, September 16, 2013 8:55 PM
I chose this piece because it seemed interesting and surprising that neglect such a high percentage of all types of child abuse. Neglect is something that I think often gets over looked, because there is sometimes less physical proof of it. Neglect can be physically harmful to the child, especially in cases when the parent is neglecting to feed the child. I have a childhood friend who was mainly neglected with occasional physical/emotionally abuse. Her father would sometimes not drive to certain events and school because he either didn't feel like it or was too drunk to drive. The biggest problem was when he would get arrested, and she would be alone at home with no one to drive her to school or feed her. I would like to know why neglect is the only form of abuse that has not been declining with time. As society progresses, people are more aware of emotional abuse and neglect and hopefully that will contribute to more people reporting it. Abuse has been proven to leave lasting effects to both the individual and society as a whole and has been labeled as a public health problem.
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State Statutes Search

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Exceptions
Citation: Welf. & Inst. Code §§ 300; 300.5

Serious physical harm does not include reasonable and age-appropriate spanking to the buttocks where there is no evidence of serious physical injury.

No child shall be found to be dependent solely due to the lack of an emergency shelter for the family.

A physical disability, such as blindness or deafness, is not considered a bar to raising happy and well-adjusted children unless a parent's disability prevents him or her from exercising care and control.

A child whose parent has been adjudged a dependent child shall not be considered to be at risk of abuse or neglect solely because of the age, dependent status, or foster care status of the parent.

In any case in which a child is alleged to be dependent on the basis that he or she is in need of medical care, the court, in making that finding, shall give consideration to any treatment being provided to the child by spiritual means through prayer alone in accordance with the tenets and practices of a recognized church or religious denomination by an accredited practitioner thereof. 

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Kyla Candido's comment, November 5, 2013 10:05 PM
All of these exceptions seem reasonable to me, but spanking is something I have mixed feelings about. I think what constitutes as serious physical injury is arbitrary and depends on the context. When there is an exception to physical disciplinary actions that can very easily cross the boarder to abuse it allows for higher chances of parents saying things like, 'it's ok because i was teaching her a lesson' etc. Everyone has a different way of raising their kids and this just doesn't seem like a very concrete or safe exception
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State Statutes Search

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Emotional Abuse
Citation: Welf. & Inst. Code § 300

A child is considered dependent if he or she is suffering serious emotional damage, or is at substantial risk of suffering serious emotional damage, as evidenced by severe anxiety, depression, withdrawal, or untoward aggressive behavior toward self or others, as a result of the conduct of the parent or guardian, or who has no parent or guardian capable of providing appropriate care. No child shall be found to be a dependent person if the willful failure of the parent or guardian to provide adequate mental health treatment is based on a sincerely held religious belief and if a less intrusive judicial intervention is available. 

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State Statutes Search

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Neglect
Citation: Welf. & Inst. Code § 300

A child may be considered dependent when:

The child has suffered, or there is a substantial risk that the child will suffer, serious physical harm or illness as a result of:The failure or inability of the parent or guardian to adequately supervise or protect the childThe willful or negligent failure of the parent or guardian to adequately supervise or protect the child from the conduct of the custodian with whom the child has been leftThe willful or negligent failure of the parent or guardian to provide the child with adequate food, clothing, shelter, or medical treatmentThe inability of the parent or guardian to provide regular care for the child due to the parent's or guardian's mental illness, developmental disability, or substance abuseThe child's sibling has been abused or neglected, and there is a substantial risk that the child will be abused or neglected. The court shall consider the circumstances surrounding the abuse or neglect of the sibling, the age and gender of each child, the nature of the abuse or neglect of the sibling, the mental condition of the parent or guardian, and any other factors the court considers probative in determining whether there is a substantial risk to the child.
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Kyla Candido's comment, November 5, 2013 11:35 PM
Because these laws seem very adequate and in depth, I"m curious as to why neglect is the biggest problem out of all forms of child abuse. All of these things that the law mentions are less easily physically identifiable, and therefore possibly "harder to prove". There is also no mention of failure of mental or emotional trauma caused by parents only "serious physical harm or illness" seems to be of concern. Even regarding neglect there still seems to be more importance put on physical damage than mental even though there is clearly a false misunderstanding that physical abuse is the biggest issue when it is actually neglect (which I understand to be more emotional or mental). It's disappointing that physical abuse is addressed more because it is more straight forward and easier to classify.
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US Supreme Court Bans Mandatory Life Without Parole for Youth: National Center for Youth Law - youthlaw.org

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Kyla Candido's comment, September 30, 2013 12:13 PM
The Supreme Court ruled life without parole for minors a violation of the 8th amendment. The Supreme Court has acknowledged that teenagers and children are developmentally different from adults. There are over 2,500 prisoners serving life without parol sentences for homicides they committed under 18, 2,000 of them are results of mandatory sentencing. Life without parole for youth is not completely banned, but mandatory sentencing is.
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Civil Rights Complaint Filed Against Dallas County Schools & Truancy Courts for the Criminal Prosecution of Students in Adult Court: National Center for Youth Law - youthlaw.org

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Facts About Abuse and Neglect — Children's Rights

Facts About Abuse and Neglect — Children's Rights | child rights | Scoop.it
Facts About Abuse and Neglect — Children's Rights
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Kyla Candido's comment, September 27, 2013 10:23 PM
This article also highlighted that despite the common assumption that physical abuse is the leading cause of deaths due to child abuse, neglect is the #1 reason. This article had predominantly statistics, which brought to light a harsh reality. 3.4 million children die a year from maltreatment in the US. Small children are especially at risk. Of those 3.4 million, %81 of those fatalities are younger than four years old. %71 of those children die from neglect. Neglect is harder to define because there is often not concrete evidence. With physical abuse, there are visible bruises but with neglect, especially because the type and extremity of the neglect varies, it can more often go unnoticed.
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Mothers Without Custody World - Links to Other Sites/Resources

Video Links:Battered Mothers Custody Conference InterviewsMothers March in D.C.

Breaking the Silence

Small Justice

Mothers Political Party Standing Up To The Family Court System


Via Claudine Dombrowski
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Claudine Dombrowski's curator insight, September 10, 2013 9:07 PM

Another Mothers Heart, who lost her children to the abuser. This mother is so amazing!!! And to be a mother beside. 

Luv you Robin....

Keep on keeping on !!