As used in sections 232.67 through 232.77 and 235A.12 through 235A.23, unless the context otherwise requires:
1. "Child" means any person under the age of eighteen years.
2. "Child abuse" or "abuse" means:
a. Any nonaccidental physical injury, or injury which is at variance with the history given of it, suffered by a child as the result of the acts or omissions of a person responsible for the care of the child.
b. Any mental injury to a child's intellectual or psychological capacity as evidenced by an observable and substantial impairment in the child's ability to function within the child's normal range of performance and behavior as the result of the acts or omissions of a person responsible for the care of the child, if the impairment is diagnosed and confirmed by a licensed physician or qualified mental health professional as defined in section 622.10.
c. The commission of a sexual offense with or to a child pursuant to chapter 709, section 726.2, or section 728.12, subsection 1, as a result of the acts or omissions of the person responsible for the care of the child. Notwithstanding section 702.5, the commission of a sexual offense under this paragraph includes any sexual offense referred to in this paragraph with or to a person under the age of eighteen years.
d. The failure on the part of a person responsible for the care of a child to provide for the adequate food, shelter, clothing or other care necessary for the child's health and welfare when financially able to do so or when offered financial or other reasonable means to do so. A parent or guardian legitimately practicing religious beliefs who does not provide specified medical treatment for a child for that reason alone shall not be considered abusing the child, however this provision shall not preclude a court from ordering that medical service be provided to the child where the child's health requires it.
e. The acts or omissions of a person responsible for the care of a child which allow, permit, or encourage the child to engage in acts prohibited pursuant to section 725.1. Notwithstanding section 702.5, acts or omissions under this paragraph include an act or omission referred to in this paragraph with or to a person under the age of eighteen years.
f. An illegal drug is present in a child's body as a direct and foreseeable consequence of the acts or omissions of the person responsible for the care of the child.
3. "Confidential access to a child" means access to a child, during an investigation of an alleged act of child abuse, who is alleged to be the victim of the child abuse. The access may be accomplished by interview, observation, or examination of the child. As used in this subsection:
a. "Interview" means the verbal exchange between the department investigator and the child for the purpose of developing information necessary to protect the child. A department investigator is not precluded from recording visible evidence of abuse.
b. "Observation" means direct physical viewing of a child under the age of four by the department investigator where the viewing is limited to the child's body other than the genitalia and pubes. "Observation" also means direct physical viewing of a child age four or older by the department investigator without touching the child or removing an article of the child's clothing, and doing so without the consent of the child's parent, custodian, or guardian. A department investigator is not precluded from recording evidence of abuse obtained as a result of a child's voluntary removal of an article of clothing without inducement by the investigator. However, if prior consent of the child's parent or guardian, or an ex parte court order, is obtained, "observation" may include viewing the child's unclothed body other than the genitalia and pubes.
c. "Examination" means direct physical viewing, touching, and medically necessary manipulation of any area of the child's body by a physician licensed under chapter 148 or 150A.
4. "Department" means the state department of human services and includes the local, county and regional offices of the department.
5. "Health practitioner" includes a licensed physician and surgeon, osteopath, osteopathic physician and surgeon, dentist, optometrist, podiatrist or chiropractor; a resident or intern in any of such professions; a licensed dental hygienist, a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse; and a basic emergency medical care provider certified under section 147.161 or an advanced emergency medical care provider certified under section 147A.6.
6. "Mental health professional" means a person who meets the following requirements:
a. Holds at least a master's degree in a mental health field, including, but not limited to, psychology, counseling, nursing, or social work; or is licensed to practice medicine pursuant to chapter 148, 150, or 150A.
b. Holds a license to practice in the appropriate profession.
c. Has at least two years of postdegree experience, supervised by a mental health professional, in assessing mental health problems and needs of individuals used in providing appropriate mental health services for those individuals.
7. "Person responsible for the care of a child" means:
a. A parent, guardian, or foster parent.
b. A relative or any other person with whom the child resides and who assumes care or supervision of the child, without reference to the length of time or continuity of such residence.
c. An employee or agent of any public or private facility providing care for a child, including an institution, hospital, health care facility, group home, mental health center, residential treatment center, shelter care facility, detention center, or child care facility.
d. Any person providing care for a child, but with whom the child does not reside, without reference to the duration of the care.
8. "Registry" means the central registry for child abuse information established in section 235A.14.
[C66, 71, 73, 75, 77, § 235A.2; C79, 81, § 232.68]
83 Acts, ch 96, § 157, 159; 84 Acts, ch 1207, § 1, 2; 85 Acts, ch 173, § 2; 86 Acts, ch 1177, § 1; 87Acts, ch 153, § 1, 2; 89 Acts, ch 24, § 1; 89 Acts, ch 89, § 16; 89 Acts, ch 230, § 3, 4; 93 Acts, ch 76, §1; 93 Acts, ch 93, § 2; 94 Acts, ch 1130, §1, 2
Referred to in § 232.70, 232.71, 235B.3, 280.17, 912.4
© 1996 Cornell College and League of Women Voters of Iowa
Last update: Thu Feb 8 18:14:51 CST 1996