New federal data on child abuse and neglect was released by HHS’ Administration for Children and Families, which analyzes data collected by state child protective services (CPS) agencies.
The report shows an increase from FY 2014 to 2015 in three key areas: numbers of referrals to CPS agencies alleging maltreatment (4.7%), number of referrals that CPS agencies accepted for investigation or alternative response (3.4%), and number of children who were the subject of an investigation or alternative response (3.0%).
Of the 3.4 million children who were the subject of an investigation or alternative response, 683,000 were determined to be victims of a combination of maltreatments, such as neglect and physical abuse. Alternatively, of the 683,000 victims, 63.4% suffered only neglect.
When states submit their data, they can add commentary that may provide context to the data published in the report. The states’ commentaries suggest the increases were driven by various factors, including the implementation of new intake (hotline or call centers), screening tools and improved staff training. Additionally, some states noted high-profile cases increased public awareness of maltreatment, which led to an increase in referrals.
The child maltreatment report is from the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS). NCANDS is a voluntary national data collection and analysis program of state child abuse and neglect information. The 2015 national statistics are based upon data received from the 50 states, the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The data is the most recent available.
In FY 2015, approximately 683,000 children were victims of abuse and neglect, representing a 1.2% increase from FY 2014.
At the state level, the change to victim counts from FY 2014 to FY 2015 ranged from a 25.5% decrease to a 56.8% increase; four states had a percent increase larger than 20.0%.
Info: https://goo.gl/nW60dw (report).