A Primer on Child Abuse and Neglect Law


  • Sarah H. Ramsey, J.D., LL.M., is a Professor of Law at Syracuse University College of Law. She directs the law school's Family Law and Social Policy Center and is a member of the New York State Bar Association's Children and the Law Committee.
    Douglas E. Abrams, J.D., is an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Missouri, Columbia, where he teaches children and the law, family law, constitutional law, and American legal history. He has served as Associate Editor of Juvenile and Family Court Journal since 1993.

  • Editor's Note: This article is adapted from Chapter 3 of Children and the Law in a Nutshell, by Sarah H. Ramsey and Douglas E. Abrams (3d ed. 2008), published by West (To order, call 800-328-9352, or visit http://west.thomson.com). Reprinted by permission.



This article surveys major aspects of child abuse and neglect law encountered by judges, lawyers, child advocates, and child care professionals. The authors, whose casebook, Children and the Law: Doctrine, Policy and Practice (West 4th ed. forthcoming 2010), is required reading in nearly seventy law schools, analyze both statutory and case law.