Skip to main content

Child Abuse and Neglect: What is Child Abuse and Neglect?

This guide discusses the various types of child abuse and how abuse affects children and families. It was designed to assist those doing research on this topic.

Child abuse and neglect defined in Federal Law

Federal legislation lays the groundwork for State laws on child maltreatment by identifying a minimum set of acts or behaviors that define child abuse and neglect. The Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended and reauthorized by the CAPTA Reauthorization Act of 2010, defines child abuse and neglect as, at minimum:

"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."




Nebraska Law

Call the Abuse/Neglect Hotline at 1-800-652-1999


State law requires any person who suspects that a child has been physically or sexually abused or neglected to report it promptly to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.


The need to increase the public's role in the job of protecting Nebraska's children created the "You Have The Power to Protect a Child" campaign.

The campaign informs Nebraskans that they can make a difference in many ways when it comes to reporting suspected child abuse.

from Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services


Nebraska Family Helpline


The Nebraska Family Helpline at (888) 866-8660 makes it easier for families to obtain assistance by providing a single contact point 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Trained Helpline operators screen calls to assess immediate safety needs, identify the potential level of a behavioral health crisis, make recommendations or referrals to appropriate resources, and help callers connect to emergency resources or providers. The Helpline is supervised by licensed behavioral health professionals.

The Nebraska Family Helpline is a free, confidential resource for parents who have questions regarding their child's behavior. From bullying, drugs and
thoughts of suicide to sharing and obedience issues, trained counselors are standing by to help. Any problem. Any time.