Child In Need Of Assistance
Children: our most cherished resource. When they are not properly cared for, it breaks our hearts. Yet across this country, children suffer abuse and neglect, unable to rely on the adults entrusted to care for them. Are some of those children your own? Do you have a former spouse that you believe is not properly caring for your children, or, worse, that is actually abusing them? What can be done to address the fears that your children experience when they spend time alone with your former spouse? An experienced Baltimore family law attorney can help to address your concerns and protect your children.
Statistics Worth Knowing
How big is the problem of child abuse and neglect? Huge. Consider the statistics from 2020:
- Nearly four million referrals for neglect were made across the United States, with almost twice as many referrals for physical and/or sexual abuse.
- Nine in ten of referrals made involve one or both parents.
- Over 120,000 children were placed in foster homes.
- Children under a year old are the most frequent victims of abuse, and nearly seven in ten victims are under three years old.
- When children die, it is at the hands of a parent over 80 percent of the time.
- Nearly half of children who die from abuse are under one year old.
- People from all walks of life, religions, socioeconomics, education levels, and cultural backgrounds may have personal experience with child abuse or neglect.
- More than one-third of imprisoned women and about 14 percent of imprisoned men were, themselves, abused as kids.
Impacts of Abuse & Neglect
The long-term consequences of child abuse and neglect are heartbreaking:
- Sexual experimentation and risk taking is more likely, resulting in a greater risk of STDs/
- They are 25 percent more likely than their peers to be involved with a teen pregnancy.
- Just under one-third of them grow up to abuse their own children.
- They are at greater risk of suffering any of a number of psychological disorders.
- The cost to address this crisis runs up to about $600 billion.
Intervening When You Suspect Abuse or Neglect
So you have a court order that gives your ex time with the kids as part of your parenting plan. But more and more, you suspect unsavory behaviors may be occurring. What should you do?
- Document everything.
- Notify social services of your concerns.
- Contact your attorney.
- Continue to collect evidence.
- Attempt to modify the custody agreement and/or visitation rights.
- If the matter is urgent or life threatening, call the police immediately.
When social services determine that there is a child in need of assistance (CINA) the courts have the ability to change living arrangements and make necessary adjustments in order to impact the child’s welfare.
Nothing is more terrifying than the thought of your children being in danger. Quick, decisive action is necessary to protect them when threats lurk. At the Law Office of Hasson D. Barnes, we make these cases our priority. Schedule a confidential consultation immediately.