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  • Child abuse or neglect is any injury, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, or injury of a child by any person that causes harm to the child's health, welfare, or safety, or the negligent treatment or maltreatment of a child by a person responsible for or providing care to the child.

  • Courts often play a major role in the lives of families who become involved in the child welfare system, including decisions on when a child should be removed from home, whether parental rights should be terminated or when a child can be safely returned home. While the court process is similar across the state, there are slight variations on how decisions are made across jurisdictions.