Child Abuse and Neglect
When children have suffered abuse or neglect and cannot safely remain with their families, child welfare officials are obligated to provide them safe and appropriate homes, adequate services to ensure their well-being and resources to recover from trauma. Unfortunately, too many children will be further maltreated at the hands of the people entrusted with their protection.
There were 4.1 million reports of child maltreatment in the United States involving more than 7.5 million children.
Approximately 674,000 children were victims of maltreatment.
- 74.9 percent suffered neglect.
- 18.3 percent suffered physical abuse.
- 8.6 percent suffered sexual abuse.
Young children are particularly vulnerable— 1,720 children died from abuse and neglect, and 71.8 percent of these children were younger than 3 years old. Nearly one half of children who die from abuse and neglect every year are under a year old.
While it is often assumed that children who die from maltreatment are physically abused, in 2017, 75.4 percent had been neglected, either exclusively or in combination with another form of maltreatment.
Some children who died from abuse or neglect were already known to child protective services (CPS) agencies.
Data show that 91.6 percent of child maltreatment victims were maltreated by one or both parents.