Time for Reform: Investing In Prevention: Keeping Children Safe at Home

Jan 29, 2008

Approximately 3.6 million children were reported to child protection authorities as possible victims of abuse and neglect in 2005. Unfortunately, few data exist about services provided to these children, but it is estimated only 2.5 percent of these children receive any kind of preventive services. We do know that, of the 899,000 confirmed cases of maltreatment, our child welfare system provides services or supports to approximately 60 percent of the children. Approximately 359,000 children with confirmed cases of abuse or neglect receive no services or supports.

These statistics beg important questions: Why do so many children who have experienced abuse or neglect and their families receive no services after abuse or neglect occurs? Had we provided prevention services to more of the 900,000 children confirmed as victims of abuse or neglect could we have prevented further abuse or neglect or perhaps even reduced the number of children who end up entering into foster care?

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