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What is a dependent child?

A dependent child is a child who does not have a parent willing or able to provide proper and effective parental care and control, a child who has not been provided with the basic necessities of life, such as food, clothing, and shelter, or a child whose home is unfit due to abuse or neglect. Abuse can include physical, sexual, or emotional abuse. Neglect means failing to provide for the child’s basic needs to such a degree that there is a risk of harm to the child as a result.

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