Rate of child abuse and neglect (founded number per 1,000 children)

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Definitions: Rate refers to the number of founded child abuse or neglect investigations per 1,000 children ages 0-17 in the general population.



When a case of suspected child abuse or neglect is reported, the local Department of Social Services decides whether to conduct a family assessment or an investigation.  Investigations are either founded or unfounded.

Data Source: Virginia Department of Social Services


Footnotes: The rate is based on the number of founded reports, not the number of unique children.  In other words, a single child could be the victim of multiple founded investigations.  In those instances, the numbers above reflect all the founded investigations for any given child.

The reporting year refers to the State Fiscal Year (e.g., 2009 data represent July 2008 through June 2009).

2005 data not available at this time.

NOTE: Locality-level data for this indicator are intended only for tracking rates over time for a given locality over time.  Because Virginia has a state-supervised, locally administered social services system, it is difficult to compare rates across localities due to variable social service staffing and practice and community standards.  Drawing conclusions based on rates of child abuse and neglect is problematic because a low rate may be indicative of a real difference in level of abuse in different communities or may merely reflect differences in reporting patterns, investigation procedures, or standards.  For this reason, users are strongly discouraged from using these data to compare one locality's rate to another.

Last updated: October 2018