LegalWays: Child Abuse and Neglect

Lesson Duration

By Jennifer Bloom and Sally Revak

This lesson from LegalWays curriculum defines types of abuse, neglect, and endangerment and discusses mandated reporters and what happens when a report is made.  Students use guiding questions and a matching activity to apply the law presented in a short student reading. The “You Decide” activity asks them to decide if a situation is neglect, endangerment, physical abuse, sexual abuse, or an accident.  Many of the cases are actual stories. This lesson uses Minnesota law but can be easily adapted.


  • Understand the function of the people involved in the juvenile protection area.
  • Become familiar with the laws of abuse and neglect.
  • Learn about the legal rights and responsibilities of parents and children.
  • Understand the various ways in which the juvenile system attempts to take of care of juveniles and their families.
  • Learn where to go for help.

Time to Complete

One class period

Materials Needed


See Juvenile Protection Teaching Guide


LegalWays curriculum was funded by Grant No. 95-JS-FX-0300 from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Office of Justice Programs, Department of Justice.


Types of especially helpful comments: How you modified this for your class, How you would improve this lesson.

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