Child Welfare Terms



Adoption is the method by which adults become the legal parents of children not born to them. An adopted child is cared for by a parent or parents who are willing to give love, security, and a sense of well-being.


Kinship Care:

Kinship care is the provision of full time care of children by relatives and non-relatives who often have a relationship with the child or had a relationship with the child previously.


Mandated Reporter:

Mandated reporters are individuals who work with children in a professional capacity. Any person who has reasonable belief that a child may be abused or neglected should report their concerns to Children Services. All reporters’ identities are confidential and are not released. Any person making a report in good faith is immune from any criminal or civil liability.



Neglect is defined as the failure of a parent or guardian(s) to provide for the necessary sustenance, education or medical needs of a child (this can be due to refusal to provide, faults, habits or abandonment on the part of the parent or guardian). Neglect includes, but is not limited to:

  • Inadequate housing (conditions so dangerous that there is a threat of injury or health hazard if there is no agency intervention).
  • Supervision based on the impact on children due to being left alone/unsupervised.
  • Medical Neglect (parents refusing treatment which places a child at risk; attempting to remove child against medical advice; failing to take a child for treatment of a diagnosed condition placing a child at risk; and failing to have a mental condition treated – if that mental condition is a threat to the child’s life).
  • Inadequate clothing or food (parents failing to provide clothing that is weather appropriate or food within the limits of the parent’s resources). Inadequate nutrition with identifiable physical results, such as failure to thrive.


Physical Abuse:

Physical abuse is defined as any physical injury or death inflicted other than by accidental means; an injury which is at variance with medical evidence and the history given; severe corporal punishment; discipline or restraint which is excessive and creates serious physical and/or emotional harm to the child.


Sexual Abuse:

Sexual Abuse is an act against the child as defined in Chapter 2907 of the ORC, where such activity would constitute an offense under that chapter, including:

  • Rape
  • Sexual battery
  • Corruption of a minor
  • Gross sexual imposition
  • Felonious sexual penetration
  • Compelling prostitution
  • Pandering obscenity involving a minor
  • Importuning – definition: to press or urge with troublesome persistence, such as to solicit, request, command or intentionally aid another person to engage in conduct which constitutes an offense.