Substantiated child maltreatment victims in New Hampshire

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Why This Indicator Matters

Not only does child maltreatment lead to the immediate suffering of children, but there are also numerous long-term adverse effects. These can include lasting physical consequences such as brain damage, as well as cognitive delays or educational difficulties and increased likelihood of depression, anxiety, and engagement in high-risk behaviors. Abused and neglected youth are also at an increased risk of drug and alcohol abuse, juvenile delinquency, criminality, and perpetuating the cycle of abuse by becoming abusers themselves (CWIG, 2013). Finally, child maltreatment can result in the death of a child (US DHHS, 2016).
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Definitions: This indicator reports the number of substantiated child maltreatment victims and the rate per 1,000 among children under age 18. Child maltreatment includes physical abuse, sexual abuse, and neglect. A case of child maltreatment is considered substantiated when a state investigation supports the maltreatment claim by state law or policy (US DHHS, 2016).
Definitions of child abuse and neglect vary from state to state. However, under the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), federal law requires that each state retains, at a minimum, the following definition of child abuse and neglect: “Any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation; or an act or failure to act, which presents an imminent risk of serious harm” (US DHHS, 2016). In New Hampshire, child abuse includes sexual abuse, intentional physical injury, psychological injury resulting in “symptoms of emotional problems generally recognized to result from consistent mistreatment or neglect,” and nonaccidental physical injury. The same statute defines neglect as abandonment by the parents, guardian, or custodian or leaving a child “without proper parental care or control, subsistence, education as required by law, or other care or control necessary for [a child’s] physical, mental, or emotional health.” A child can also be considered neglected if a parent, guardian, or custodian is unable to care for the child due to “incarceration, hospitalization, or other physical or mental incapacity” (NH RS 169-C3). 

Data Source: DHHS, Division for Children, Youth and Families, NCANDS

New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (2016). 

Definitions and findings references:
Child Welfare Information Gateway (2013). Long-Term Consequences of Child Abuse and Neglect.  www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/factsheets/long_term_consequences.pdf 

National U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2016). Child Maltreatment 2016. Administration for Children and Families. 
https://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/cb/cm2016.pdf

New Hampshire General Court. RSA Chapter 169-C, Child Protection Act. Section 169-C:3.  www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/xii/169-c/169-c-3.htm

Solomon, Dave. 2016. “High Percentage of Reports to DCYF Deemed ‘Unfounded,’” New Hampshire Union Leader.
http://www.unionleader.com/High-percentage-of-reports-to-DCYF-deemed-unfounded 

Footnotes: These data are from full counts of the population making statistical testing unnecessary. Further, the rate is based on the number of founded reports, meaning both that a single child could have multiple reports and that unfounded reports are not included in this analysis. The unfounded rate in New Hampshire is surprisingly high at over 86 percent of all child abuse reports made to DCYF in 2015, prompting an evaluation of the procedures used to determine whether allegations are founded or unfounded (Solomon, 2016). For this reason, it is important to note that this is not a definite indicator of child abuse and neglect as reporting differentials may exist and the rate and extent of investigations may vary from other states.

Child maltreatment data from 2014 and 2015 is being requested and will be updated when its received.

2013 Data Note: County information is missing for 41 cases. Therefore, the state total cases exceeds the total of counties.