The purpose of this study was to examine mental representations with respect to child abuse and neglect. In particular, we focused on whether child maltreatment is more strongly associated with being a crime or a welfare issue. Study I included 220 university students and 44 correctional experts. They were made to rate the extent to which five practical psychologies were related to five child clinical issues. Multi-dimensional scaling (MDS) showed that (1) child maltreatment posited between Psychology for Human Services (PHS) and Forensic and Criminal Psychology (FCP) in university students, and (2) child abuse and neglect was close to PHS in correctional experts. Study II consisted of 46 university students who were measured twice, before and after a lecture regarding child abuse and neglect. Individual analysis of the MDS results revealed that knowledge about child maltreatment could make PHS closer to but remain the closest between FCP and child abuse and neglect. Study III included 197 university students who were required to select the better procedure (social welfare or forensic) for maltreated children. We found that they reported significantly more of the former than the latter and concluded that university students have a mental representation of child abuse and neglect being a crime, not a welfare issue.