State laws provide a variety of means to protect children from self-inflicted or parentally-inflicted harm. In recent years, the Supreme Court has imposed stringent procedural requirements on juvenile delinquency laws. In the past year, however, the Court has refused to extend these procedural stringencies to analogous child-protective state laws. This article explores generally the rationale for court application, by constitutional mandate, of procedural safeguards to a broad range of child-protective legislation. The article suggests that some criminal-procedure rights are vitally important to protect children and their parents from inappropriate state interventions, but that wholesale application of all criminal rights, as if these laws were no different from criminal laws, unduly restricts proper application of these laws. Guidelines for determining what criminal rights should and should not be applied to child-protective legislation generally are suggested.