Child abuse is one reason children are placed in foster care or other out of home placements, such as with other family members, kinship, or group homes. Child abuse can take many forms from physical abuse, sexual abuse, to even emotional abuse.
Child abuse is defined as any recent act or even the failure to act, in order to keep a child safe.
A child may be defined as a person under the age of 18.
These acts may be committed by a parent or caretaker (including any employee of a residential facility or any staff person providing out-of-home care) who is responsible for the child's welfare.
Abuse is defined in both Federal and State legislation. This legislation also defines what acts are considered child abuse within each category: physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse or maltreatment. Those who are considered to be mandatory reporters of child abuse are also listed and defined within legislation, these reporters often include teachers, physicians, nurses, and foster parents.