Substantiated child abuse and/or neglect victims

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Why This Indicator Matters

All children deserve to grow up in homes that are safe and emotionally nurturing. Children who experience adverse childhood experiences such as physical and emotional abuse have difficulty in school, and have more issues in mental health and physical health both as children and as adults. Although we hope substantiated child abuse goes down because there is less child abuse in families, it could also mean that the resources to investigate and evaluate reports of child abuse are inadequate to accurately assess the cases that are referred for investigation.

What the data shows
Overall, the number  of substantiated child abuse victims has decreased in a statistically significant way between 2012 and 2017. Looking at all available years 2000-2017, the highest state rates of substantiated child abuse were in 2003 (16.6 per 1,000 children) followed by 2007, 2012, 2013 which all had rates between 14.5 and 15.




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Definitions: The number and rate of individual victims of child abuse and neglect ages 0-17 for whom assessment led to a finding of a threat to a child’s health or welfare by physical, mental or emotional injury or impairment, sexual abuse or exploitation, deprivation of essential needs or lack of protection from these by a person responsible for the child (22 MRSA §4002). The numerator is the unique number of children in a calendar year who are victims of child maltreatment as defined above and the denominator is the number of children in the state ages 0 -17. The rate is per 1,000 children ages 0-17. These data represent calendar years.

Data Source: Maine DHHS, Office of Child & Family Services, Division of Child Welfare

Footnotes: Uploaded April 2018.