Vermont’s criminal code makes it punishable cruelty to a child by failure to provide protection from the weather, or unnecessarily and cruelly neglecting to properly care for such person. 13 V.S.A. § 1305. This is a very limited statute that would make it difficult to prosecute a parent for letting a child play outside as long as it wasn’t unduly hot or cold and the child was dressed appropriately.
An “abused or neglected child” is broadly defined as a child whose physical health, psychological growth and development, or welfare is harmed or is at substantial risk of harm by the acts or omissions of his or her parent or other person responsible for the child’s welfare. 33 V.S.A. § 4912
This webpage is not a legal document, and Let Grow does not take responsibility for the content. Be mindful that some localities have rules and guidelines even when the state does not. When in doubt, consult your local authorities to confirm the laws where you live. What’s more, laws change, as do judicial interpretations of them, and this webpage may not be updated immediately.
Right now, most states’ neglect laws are incredibly open-ended. They say things like, “Parent must provide proper supervision.” We agree! But people have different ideas of what that entails. Select a state below to learn more about their laws, policies and how Let Grow is helping.
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