Federal Child Abuse Numbers Climb Again

| January 30, 2017

By , January 23, 2017

A federal report published last week by the Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF) showed that the number of children in the United States who experienced child abuse and neglect rose for the third year in a row.

Using 2015 state data voluntarily submitted to the ACYF, the Child Maltreatment 2015 report offered detailed breakdowns of child victims of abuse, common types of maltreatment, rates of child fatalities as a result of abuse or neglect and the recipients of services from child-welfare agencies.

Nationwide, there were about 683,000 victims of child maltreatment in 2015, a rate that came to 9.2 victims per 1,000 children.

Data for the report was collected for the federal fiscal year (FFY) 2015, which ran from October 2014 through September 2015.

In 2015, both the number of estimated child fatalities because of abuse or neglect (1,670) and the national fatality rate per 100,000 children (2.25) were both the highest in at least five years.

States with the highest fatality rates per 100,000 children include Arkansas (5.67), South Dakota (5.21), Mississippi (4.82), Georgia (4.51) and Michigan (3.76).

In tracking who reported allegations of abuse or neglect, educators made the most referrals to child-protective services at 18.4 percent, followed by legal and law enforcement personnel (18.2 percent), social services personnel (10.9 percent), medical professionals (9.1 percent), mental health professionals (5.8 percent) and others.

Other report findings using the 2015 data included the following:

  • 58.2 percent of an estimated four million allegations of child maltreatment were screened in by CPS agencies, resulting in 2.2 million reports of child abuse or neglect
  • 3.4 million children received an investigation or an alternative response
  • 402,330 child-maltreatment victims received services as a result of an investigation
  • 148,262 child-maltreatment victims received foster-care services
  • 58,544 non-victims received foster care services due to an investigation or an alternative response
  • 74.8 percent of all child fatalities were younger than 3 years
  • In data collected from 31 states, 12 percent of children who died as a result of maltreatment were part of families who had received family preservation services in the prior five years

To read the report, click here.

This post has been updated to specify that 58,544 non-victims of maltreatment received foster care services because of both an alternative response or an investigation.

CLICK HERE to read the article on The Chronicle for Social Change.

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Category: Advocacy, Child Welfare, General, Health

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