Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting

Discussion of Neglect Scenario 2

The correct answer for Scenario 2 is Yes.

The situation referenced in Scenario 2 should be reported to DFCS as neglect.

Medical neglect is a common form of child abuse. Mandated reporters are required to report neglect.

Key Concepts in Scenario 2:

  • Mandated reporters are required to report neglect in Georgia.
  • Medical neglect is a frequent form of neglect.

Features of Scenario 2:

Georgia law specifically prohibits neglect of a child. In the law, neglect is defined as a lack of supervision, abandonment, or intentional or unintentional disregard by a parent or caretaker of a child's basic needs for food, shelter, medical care, or education as evidenced by repeated incidents or a single incident which places the child at substantial risk of harm. O.C.G.A. § 49-5-180 (2012).

The actions of the parents in this case placed the student in substantial risk of harm due to failure to provide medical care necessary to manage a deadly disease that they are aware of and have previously been providing for.

While hard financial times can fall on any family, especially one where a child has a chronic medical condition, resources exist to ensure that basic needs are met. When the family refused the help of the school social worker, the natural contact for such assistance, they cut themselves off from valuable help in securing the care and maintenance their child’s condition requires.

When a student is medically fragile, it is important for the family to keep their contact information updated and to be as available as possible. This family failed to provide current contact information or alternative contact information when their phones were disconnected.

The school nurse and the student report that this is not the first time the student has not had necessary supplies and medication to manage his disease.

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