In 1999, an estimated 3,244,000 children were reported to Child Protective Services (CPS) agencies as alleged victims of child maltreatment. Child abuse reports have maintained a steady growth for the past ten years, with the total number of reports nationwide increasing 45% since 1987 (Nation Committee for the Prevention of Child Abuse (NCPCA) 2000 Annual Fifty State Survey).
Neglect represents the most common type of reported and substantiated form of maltreatment. In 1996, 25 states provided the following breakdown for reported cases: 62% involved neglect, 25% physical abuse, 7% sexual abuse, 3% ...view middle of the document...
Some may turn to crime or domestic violence or become abusers themselves (U.S. Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect, 1995 report, A National's Shame.)"
The Third National Incidence Study (NIS-3) of child maltreatment released by the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect (NCCAN) in the fall of 1996. Note: NIS-4 is underway and is scheduled for completion Feb 2008.
The NIS is congressionally mandated under the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA). The NIS collects data on children who were investigated by child protective services (CPS) agencies and on children seen by community professionals who were not reported to CPS or who were screened out by CPS without investigation.
The NIS studies have been published on data collected in 1979 (NIS-1), in 1986 (NIS-2), and in 1993 (NIS-3).
The NIS uses two definitions of child maltreatment: the Harm Standard, under which children are counted as maltreated only if they have already experienced demonstrable harm; and the Endangerment Standard, under which children are counted if they have experienced maltreatment that puts them at risk of demonstrable harm.
The NIS-3 gathered data from a nationally representative sample of 5,612 community professionals in 842 agencies serving 42 counties.
Finding of the NIS-3:
• The estimated number of children seriously injured by all forms of maltreatment quadrupled between 1986 and 1993, from 141,700 to 565,000 (a 299% increase).
• Considering the Harm Standard:
• The estimated number of sexually abused children increased 83%;
• The number of physically neglected children rose 102%;
• There was a 333 % increase in the estimated number of emotionally neglected children; and
• The estimated number of physically abused children rose 42%.
CPS investigated only 28% of children whose maltreatment met the Harm Standard.
Although the percentage of children whose abuse or neglect was investigated declined, the actual number of children investigated remained constant.
CPS investigated only 26 percent of the seriously injured and 26 percent of the moderately injured children.
Girls are sexually abused three times more often than boys.
Boys are at a greater risk of serious injury and of emotional neglect than are girls.
The incidence of fatally injured girls declined slightly, while the incidence of fatally injured boys rose.
Found no race differences in maltreatment incidence.
Poverty is significantly related to incidence rates in nearly every category of maltreatment. Compared to children whose families earned $30,000 or more, children in families with annual incomes below $15,000 were:
• More than 22 times more likely to experience maltreatment under the Harm Standard and 25 times more likely under the Endangerment Standard.
• More than 44 times more likely to be neglected, by either definitional standard.
• Over 22 times more likely to be seriously injured using either definitional standard.
• 60 times more likely...