Picture this: six weeks ago, you gave birth to your first child. While on leave from work, you start seeking out day care facilities to provide care for your little bundle of joy when you return to your job. The thought of having to leave your child for the first time is a very scary experience. As a new parent, you have to trust that someone will provide adequate care for your new little baby, and you won’t be able to monitor that care on a moment-to-moment basis. As you research and visit places, there are many factors to take into consideration, such as the type of facility, the level of monitoring given to each individual child, the qualifications of the staff, the cost of care, and other factors.
As you venture into this new world, it is important to understand the concept of out-of-home care neglect. As you will see in the next few pages, it is important to make well-informed decisions with respect to the individuals and facilities that will be providing day-to-day care for your loved ones. In the event that some type of neglect occurs with respect to your child, your local county children services board or child protective services unit will likely become involved, thus complicating your already hectic life.
Next, we’ll look at the definition of a neglected child.