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What is the legal definition of "failure to protect" in a child abuse case?

Shafter, CA |
Filed under: Child abuse

I would like to open a class for "failure to protect" clients. I currently teach court approved Chronic Neglect, Effective Parenting Skills, as well as Parenting & Neglect. However, while all of these three sets of classes meet or exceed the W&I codes, according to local court social workers they are not comphrehensive enough to meet "failure to protect". Unfortunately, they could not provide me with the definition nor the componets. Please assist.

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Attorney answers 1


Since you're going to need court approval for your class, anyway, I would contact the clerk of the court and make an appointment to meet with the presiding judge in charge of Child Dependency matters and discuss what the court wants.

Under Welfare & Instititions Code 300(b) defines failure to protect as "a substantial risk that the child will suffer serious physical harm or illness, as a result of the failure or inability of his or her parent or guardian to adequately supervise or protect the child, or the willful or negligent failure of the child's parent or guardian to adequately supervise or protect the child from the conduct of the custodian with whom the child has been left, or by the willful or negligent failure of the parent or guardian to provide the child with adequate food, clothing, shelter, or medical treatment, or by the 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 abuse."

For a few recent cases discussing the standards, see In re J.O. ( 2009) 100 Cal.Rptr.3d 276, 178 Cal.App.4th 139; In re Carlos T. (2009) 94 Cal.Rptr.3d 635, 174 Cal.App.4th 795; In re Heather A. (1996) 60 Cal.Rptr.2d 315, 52 Cal.App.4th 183

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