Child maltreatment is any act or series of acts of commission or omission commited by a parent or other caregiver (e.g., clergy, coach, or teacher) that results in harm, potential for harm, or threat of harm to a child.
Acts of Commission, referred to as child abuse, are words or overt actions that cause harm, potential harm, or threat of harm that are deliberate and intentional; however, harm to a child might not be the intended consequence of a caregivers actions. Intention only applies to caregiver acts—not the consequences of those acts. For example, the caregiver intended to punish the child, (i.e., hitting the child is not accidental or unintentional), but not give the child a concussion.
Acts of Omission, referred to as child neglect, are failures to provide needs or to protect from harm or potential harm or to provide for a child's basic physical, emotional, or educational needs, or to protect a child from harm or potential harm. Like acts of commission, harm to a child might not be the intended consequence.
Impact on West Virginia:
1 Data Source: West Virginia Health Statistics Center, Vital Statistics System.
2 Data Source: West Virginia Health Care Authority, Hospital Inpatient Billing Data.