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Abuse and Neglect

In attempting to buttress parental rights while simultaneously protecting its young citizens from unacceptable threat or harm, the Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) (42 U.S.C.A. § 5106g) defines child abuse and neglect, at minimum, as: "Any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation or an act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm." Federal and State laws also define civil and criminal sanctions for maltreatment.