Child abuse and neglect prevalence

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Why This Indicator Matters

Child abuse is the maltreatment or neglect of a child that results in any non-accidental harm or injury. Abuse comes in a number of forms of maltreatment including physical and emotional abuse or neglect, verbal abuse and sexual abuse. The long-term impacts can last a lifetime, especially if left untreated. Abuse and neglect have far-reaching physical, social and emotional effects within a community and can cause problems in youth including depression, impaired growth, learning difficulties, low school achievement, juvenile delinquency, substance abuse and sometimes suicide. States can set their own legal abuse definitions of child abuse and neglect within existing federal legal standards.
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Data Provided By

Definitions: Number of accepted and substantiated reports of child abuse and neglect in Delaware by fiscal year.


Rate = per 1,000 children ages birth to 17.

Substantiation: As defined in 16 Del.C. means a finding by a preponderance of the evidence that child abuse or neglect has occurred. The finding is made after an investigation by the Division of Family Services. In addition, substantiation may occur through a civil child welfare proceeding, a criminal judicial proceeding or failure to request an appeal of the Division's intent to substantiate within the specified timeframe.

Data Source: Delaware Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families