Wyoming Definition of Child Abuse and Neglect

Physical Abuse - Citation: Ann. Stat. § 14-3-202
'Abuse' means inflicting or causing physical injury, harm, or imminent danger to the physical health or welfare of a child other than by accidental means, including excessive or unreasonable corporal punishment.

'Physical injury' means any harm to a child, including but not limited to disfigurement, impairment of any bodily organ, skin bruising if greater in magnitude than minor bruising associated with reasonable corporal punishment, bleeding, burns, fracture of any bone, subdural hematoma, or substantial malnutrition.

Neglect - Citation: Ann. Stat. § 14-3-202
The term 'abuse' includes malnutrition or substantial risk of harm by reason of intentional or unintentional neglect.

'Neglect' means a failure or refusal by those responsible for the child's welfare to provide adequate care, maintenance, supervision, education, or medical, surgical, or any other care necessary for the child's well-being.

Sexual Abuse/Exploitation - Citation: Ann. Stat. § 14-3-202
The term 'abuse' includes the commission or allowing the commission of a sexual offense against a child, as defined by law.

Emotional Abuse - Citation: Ann. Stat. § 14-3-202
The term 'abuse' includes inflicting or causing mental injury or harm to the mental health or welfare of the child.

'Mental injury' means an injury to the psychological capacity or emotional stability of a child as evidenced by an observable or substantial impairment in his or her ability to function within a normal range of performance and behavior, with due regard to his or her culture.

Abandonment - Citation: Ann. Stat. § 14-3-202
The term 'abuse' includes abandonment, unless the abandonment is a relinquishment substantially in accordance with §§ 14-11-101 through 14-11-109.

Standards for Reporting - Citation: Ann. Stat. § 14-3-205
A report is required when a person knows or has reasonable cause to suspect that a child has been abused or neglected.

Persons Responsible for the Child Citation: Ann. Stat. § 14-3-202
'A person responsible for a child's welfare' includes:

  • The child's parent, noncustodial parent, guardian, custodian, stepparent, or foster parent
  • Any other person, institution, or agency having the physical custody or control of the child

Exceptions - Citation: Ann. Stat. § 14-3-202
Treatment given in good faith by spiritual means alone through prayer by a duly accredited practitioner, in accordance with the tenets and practices of a recognized church or religious denomination, is not child neglect for that reason alone.