skip to content
Primary navigation

What is considered abuse and neglect in Minnesota?


Neglect is the most common form of maltreatment. It is usually a failure of a child's caregiver to:

  • Provide needed food, clothing, shelter, medical or mental health care, education or appropriate supervision
  • Protect a child from conditions or actions that endanger the child
  • Take steps to ensure that a child is educated as required by law.

The following also may be considered neglect:

  • Exposing a child to certain drugs during pregnancy
  • Causing emotional harm to a child.

Physical abuse

This is when a caregiver causes any physical injury, or threatens harm or substantial injury, on a child other than by accident. Physical abuse can range from minor bruises to severe internal injuries and death.

Mental injury

This is harm to a child's psychological capacity or emotional stability evidenced by an observable and substantial impairment of a child's functioning.

Sexual abuse

This is when a child is a victim of a criminal sexual act or threatened act committed by:

  • A person responsible for a child's care
  • A person who has a significant relationship to a child
  • A person in a position of authority.
back to top