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Child Abuse and Neglect

There are over 3 million reports of child abuse and neglect a year. Thousands of children are killed and severely injured. Abuse and neglect take a long-term physical and emotional toll on individual children, their families, and the communities in which they live.

In 2008, there were 758,289 victims of child abuse and neglect.
  • Child abuse and neglect costs America $109.1 billion a year and contributes to numerous social problems such as poverty, crime, and alcohol and drug abuse.
  • For every dollar spent on treating child abuse, only 13 cents are spent on preventing it.
  • From 2005 to 2009, Congress cut federal funding to states to treat and protect abused and neglected children by 17%.
  • There are only 20,840 families enrolled in the Nurse Family Partnership program nationally, a program proven to help reduce child abuse and neglect, poverty, and dependence on public assistance.
  • The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provided $1 billion to states for child protection. This funding will end at the end of the year.
  • Despite receiving federal support, 45 states made cuts to vital services for children and families, and laid off more than 200,000 employees nationwide.

The Solutions

  • Home visits help reduce child abuse and helps the economy – Fifteen years of research on home visiting for at-risk mothers, beginning during pregnancy, resulted in less welfare, less child abuse and neglect, less maternal and juvenile arrests, and a longer time between subsequent pregnancies.  Investment in 2½ years of home visits costs $7,000, while the estimated return to society is $28,000.
  • Parent education programs have been shown to reduce child abuse – Parent training aimed at child-rearing competence and stress management have been proven to reduce risk factors associated with physical child abuse.
  • Proven therapeutic treatments to abused and neglected children can minimize the long-term effects of abuse.