Lawyers often broadly refer to laws related to child abuse and child neglect as “child protection” legislation. The principal purpose of neglect and abuse laws is to protect children from future harm. A person's past behavior is relevant in child protection only to the extent that it reflects on his or her capacity to raise children adequately in the future.

Special Nature of Child Protection Processes

In criminal law, a court is concerned with determining guilt or innocence so that it may mete out the proper punishment to the guilty. In child protection processes, if a court is satisfied that a child is not at future risk of harm, it will dismiss the case even if it finds that the parent has harmed the child in the ...

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