Child Protection Act: “Child Abuse” and “Child Neglect” Defined

Section 2 of Michigan's Child Protection Act, MCL 722.622, defines "child abuse" and "child neglect" as follows:

(f) "Child abuse" means harm or threatened harm to a child's health or welfare that occurs through nonaccidental physical or mental injury, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, or maltreatment, by a parent, a legal guardian, or any other person responsible for the child's health or welfare or by a teacher, a teacher's aide, or a member of the clergy.          

(j) "Child neglect" means harm or threatened harm to a child's health or welfare by a parent, legal guardian, or any other person responsible for the child's health or welfare that occurs through either of the following:(i) Negligent treatment, including the failure to provide adequate food, clothing, shelter, or medical care.(ii) Placing a child at an unreasonable risk to the child's health or welfare by failure of the parent, legal guardian, or other person responsible for the child's health or welfare to intervene to eliminate that risk when that person is able to do so and has, or should have, knowledge of the risk.