Abuse and Neglect
How does abuse and neglect fit into ACEs?
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) can have lasting, negative effects on health, well-being, and opportunity. The ten ACEs include:
- Intimate partner violence
- Caregiver mental illness
- Caregiver substance abuse
- Caregiver incarceration
- Caregiver separation
- Child physical abuse
- Child neglect
- Child emotional abuse
- Child emotional neglect
- Child sexual abuse
One in 7 children in our eight-county service area has two or more ACEs. Children experiencing ACEs are at higher risk for chronic health problems, mental illness, and substance abuse in adulthood. Local children with two or more ACEs are less likely to have received all needed medical care or have nutritious foods.1
To learn more about what Cook Children's Health Care System is doing to prevent child abuse and neglect, visit saynotoabuse.org.
What is child abuse and neglect?
Knowing what constitutes maltreatment is the first step toward stopping it. Abuse and neglect of a child includes:
Inappropriate touching, indecent exposure and exploitation.
Punching, beating, kicking, biting, shaking or threatening with any type of weapon.
Malnourishment, dirty clothing and living quarters, child left alone for long periods of time, frequent absences and tardiness at school.
Extreme punishment such as being locked in a room or closet or denied food or water, name calling, belittling, blaming or withholding love.
Prenatal exposure to drug abuse and children exposed to drugs and alcohol abuse by parents, including illegal drug activity in the home which may put a child in harm's way.
Often referred to as Munchausen syndrome by proxy - a caregiver may cause a child to become ill just to gain attention from other people. The result is unnecessary medical intervention and treatment and risky actions by the caregiver which can cause great harm and risk to the child's health and life.
Failure to provide adequate medical or dental care for a child, especially when it is needed to treat a serious physical injury or illness. In some cases, this can also include a failure to provide for psychiatric care if the child needs it.
Questions or concerns
Please do not email reports of child abuse or neglect.
To report suspicion of abuse or neglect
Texas law requires that any person suspecting that a child has been abused or neglected must immediately make a report.
1Community Health Needs Assessment Report. (2021), pg.64-65. Cook Children’s Health Care System. Fort Worth, Texas.