Less than 18 years of age:
i. Whose parent or guardian inflicts, or allows to be inflicted upon such child, physical injury by other than accidental means, which causes or creates a substantial risk of death, or serious or protracted disfigurement, or protracted impairment of physical or emotional health or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily organ;
ii. Whose parent or guardian creates or allows to be created a substantial or ongoing risk of physical injury to such child by other than accidental means which would be likely to cause death or serious or protracted disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily organ;
iii. Whose parent or guardian commits or allows to be committed an act of sexual abuse against the child;
iv. Whose physical, mental, or emotional condition has been impaired or is in imminent danger of becoming impaired as the result of the failure of his or her parent or guardian to exercise a minimum degree of care:
(1) In supplying the child with adequate food, clothing, shelter, education, medical or surgical care, though financially able to do so, or though offered financial or other reasonable means to do so; or
(2) In providing the child with proper supervision or guardianship, by unreasonably inflicting or allowing to be inflicted harm, or substantial risk thereof, including the infliction of excessive corporal punishment; or by any other acts of a similarly serious nature requiring the aid of the court;
v. Who has been willfully abandoned by his or her parent or guardian;
vi. Upon whom excessive physical restraint has been used under circumstances which do not indicate that the child’s behavior is harmful to himself or herself, others or property; or
vii. Who is in an institution other than a day school, and:
(1) Has been placed there inappropriately for a continued period of time with the knowledge that the placement has resulted or may continue to result in harm to the child’s mental or physical well-being; or
(2) Who has been willfully isolated from ordinary social contact under circumstances which indicate emotional or social deprivation.
To begin the investigation, a caseworker from the Department shall interview the child or children, the parents, and any other witnesses with personal knowledge of the alleged conduct. The caseworker shall also access the home environment and access whether the caregiver poses a danger to the child or children. Moreover, the caseworker is also permitted to make unannounced visits to the home. The caseworker shall also conduct a background check to determine whether the alleged perpetrator has a criminal history or history with the Department. In addition, the caseworker, if needed, shall seek the assistance of any law enforcement authorities or the assistance of any medical professionals.