Definitions of Child Abuse and Neglect Louisiana

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Statute: Children's Code art. 603(1), (3), (5), (7), (9), (14)


Seriously endangers



Religious exemption

Categories of Maltreatment Defined in Statute

Physical abuse


Sexual abuse

Sexual exploitation

Emotional/mental injury


Categories of Maltreatment Not Defined in Statute


La. Childrenżs Code Ann. art. 603(1), (3), (5), (7), (9), (14) (West, WESTLAW through 2002 Ex. Sess.)

'Abuse' means any one of the following acts, which seriously endanger the physical, mental, or emotional health of the child:

The infliction, attempted infliction, or, as a result of inadequate supervision, the allowance of the infliction or attempted infliction of physical or mental injury upon the child by a parent or any other person.

The exploitation or overwork of a child by a parent or any other person.

The involvement of the child in any sexual act with a parent or any other person, or the aiding or toleration by the parent or caretaker of the childżs sexual involvement with any other person or of the child's involvement in pornographic displays, or any other involvement of a child in sexual activity constituting a crime under the laws of the State.

'Caretaker' means any person legally obligated to provide or secure adequate care for a child, including a parent, tutor, guardian, legal custodian, foster home parent, an employee of a public or private day care center, or other person providing a residence for the child.

'Child' means a person under 18 years of age who, prior to juvenile proceedings, has not been judicially emancipated, or emancipated by marriage.

'Child pornography' means visual depiction of a child engaged in actual or simulated sexual intercourse, deviate sexual intercourse, sexual bestiality, masturbation, sadomasochistic abuse, or lewd exhibition of the genitals.

'Crime against the child' shall include the commission of or attempted commission of any of the following crimes against the child as provided by Federal or State statutes:





Sexual battery;


Criminal neglect;

Criminal abandonment;


Carnal knowledge of a juvenile;

Indecent behavior with juveniles;

Pornography involving juveniles;

Molestation of a juvenile;

Crime against nature;

Cruelty to juveniles;

Contributing to the delinquency or dependency of

Sale of minor children.

'Neglect' means the refusal or unreasonable failure of a parent or caretaker to supply the child with necessary food, clothing, shelter, care, treatment or counseling for any injury, illness, or condition of the child, as a result of which the child's physical, mental, or emotional health is substantially threatened or impaired.


La. Childrenżs Code Ann. art. 603(14) (West, WESTLAW through 2002 Ex. Sess.)

The inability of a parent or caretaker to provide for a child due to inadequate financial resources shall not, for that reason alone, be considered neglect.

Whenever, in lieu of medical care, a child is being provided treatment in accordance with the tenets of a well-recognized religious method of healing which has a reasonable, proven record of success, the child shall not, for that reason alone, be considered to be neglected or maltreated. However, nothing herein shall prohibit the court from ordering medical services for the child when there is substantial risk of harm to the childżs health or welfare.
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