Child maltreatment (abuse and neglect) refers to any act or failure to act on the part of a parent or a caregiver that results in harm, potential for harm, or threat of harm to a child. It includes physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, neglect, and endangerment. Child abuse and neglect causes direct suffering and long-term consequences for children and their communities.
Child maltreatment is a significant public health problem in terms of its magnitude, severity, and societal costs. CDC estimates that approximately 14% of children suffer from abuse.
In 2015-16, Oregon Department of Human Services, Child Protective Services received 76,668 reports of child abuse and neglect (2016 Child Welfare Data Book); over 38,000 reports were referred for investigation.
- 7,677 referrals were founded for abuse or neglect—involving over 11,000 victims.
- Nearly half of the victims (46%) were under 6 years old
- 19 children died as result of abuse or negelect
The most severe outcomes of child maltreatment include assault injuries resulting in hospitalization and death. From 2003 to 2012, 88 child fatalities in Oregon were due to physical abuse. Among the 88 deaths, 15 children died from shaken baby syndrome.
- 28.4 percent of deaths occurred among infants; more than half of the victims were under 3 years of age
- 61% of children were killed by their biological parents; 23% of children were killed by a boyfriend/girlfriend of the child’s parent
In 2012-2014, the highest rate of assault hospitalization in Oregon was among infants (children < 1 year of age).
In a 2015 survey, about 23% percent of Oregon 11th graders reported that an adult intentionally hit or physically hurt them, at some point in their lives, and 5% reported that an adult had sexual contact with them at some point in their lives.
Child maltreatment and neglect cause long-term damage to physical and emotional wellbeing. Across the lifespan, experienced child abuse and neglect increase the risks of:
- Emotional difficulties
- Social maladjustment
- Substance abuse
- Adolescent pregnancy
- Suicide attempts
- Poor mental and physical health
- Juvenile delinquency and adult criminality
Exposure to any form of child maltreatment is considered an “Adverse Childhood Experience” (ACE) which research shows can lead to immediate and enduring negative health consequences. Longer-term effects of childhood maltreatment include increased risks for mental illnesses such as depression, obesity, criminal behavior, and parenting difficulties. The negative physical and psychological impacts increase substantially as the number of adverse childhood experiences accumulate, and can include increased risk for chronic heart, lung and cancer diseases, even decades later.
It is difficult to assess the overall economic burden of child maltreatment, although it has been estimated to be approximately $124 billion in the US. Regardless of the economic burden of child maltreatment, it is impossible to overstate the tragic and avoidable consequences experienced by children that have been abused.
- Increase the reach and effectiveness of the state Nurse Family Partnership (NFP) Program to prevent child abuse/neglect and intimate partner violence
- Intra-agency agreement developed between IVPP and Maternal and Child Health section’s Nurse Family Partnership program (NFP) to provide technical data analyticassistance.
- Develop a three phase project plan (evaluation design, implementation, and dissemination of findings) to determine barriers and facilitators to NFP program implementation and expansion.