Family Law : Child Abuse and Neglect

Are there laws to protect children from abuse?

Yes, Ohio laws protect children from child abuse, neglect, and dependency (parental inability to care for their children).

Who do I contact if I suspect child abuse or neglect?

If you are in an emergency situation call 911.

Every county has a Public Children Services Agency (PCSA or “Children Services”) that is responsible for enforcing Ohio’s child welfare laws, investigating reports of child abuse, neglect, or dependency, and providing supportive services and counseling to families at risk of child abuse, neglect, or dependency.

Are there different types of abuse and neglect?

There are many different types of child abuse and neglect, and agency responses vary depending on the type of abuse and the policies and practices of the local Children Services Agency.

What does a Children Services agency do?

In some cases, the Children Services agency files a complaint in juvenile court alleging abuse, neglect, or dependency, but the agency must make “reasonable efforts” to preserve or reunify the family before taking any action to permanently remove the children from their parents’ care or to terminate parental rights. Some Children Services agencies are taking a more family-friendly, supportive approach to troubled families instead of the more aggressive and law enforcement-oriented traditional approach.

For more information on domestic violence visit the Ohio Domestic Violence Resource Center.

See also the Forms & Education tab in this section for more information.

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