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Read the following fact pattern and then answer the questions that follow:

Jason, a seven year old child, is in the second grade. At school, his teacher noticed he was having problems sitting during class. She asked Jason why he was wiggling around in his seat and what was wrong. Jason replied that his daddy had given him a “real whipping” last night for coming home later after school. The teacher immediately sent Jason to the school nurse for evaluation. The school nurse conducted a physical examination of the child and determined that Jason had “strap mark” lacerations across his buttocks approximately five inches long and two inches wide. There were four different but distinct marks which appeared to be deep blue, black and brown in color. Jason told the nurse that the marks were from the whipping his father recently gave him.


  1. What is required to establish a sufficient legal basis for a “dependency” case in the State of Florida and has Jason been abused or neglected as those terms are defined in Chapter 39 of the Florida Statutes? Explain the difference between “child abuse” and “child neglect”. When does corporal punishment constitute abuse?
  2. What legal process/steps would the Florida Department of Children and Families have to follow to remove Jason from his legal custodian(s) and what legal process would be initiated for “shelter status”?
  3. Explain why and how psychological maltreatment of a child by a parent or guardian may legally constitute child abuse to warrant state intervention.
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