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Statewide Child Abuse Data Remains Constant in 2016

Last week, the Department of Human Services (DHS) released the 2016 Child Protective Services Report, formerly known as the Annual Child Abuse Report. Mandated by law, this report includes a statistical analysis of both child protective services (CPS) data and, new for the past two years, general protective services (GPS) data by county.

This year, the report was re-designed to be more user-friendly through the use of county specific pages providing snapshots of the data, rather than listing the data in tables containing all 67 counties’ information. In addition to CPS and GPS data, the report includes information on requested child abuse clearances, mandated reporter training, child fatality and near fatality incidents and human services expenditures.

Many of the data points remained relatively constant from 2015 to 2016. Notable statewide findings include:

  • 44,359 reports of suspected child abuse or neglect; 4,597 (10.4%) of which were substantiated. This is an increase of about 2,000 from the most recent 2015 data, however, the rate of substantiation remained nearly the same – from 1.6 per thousand children in 2015 and 1.7 per thousand children in 2016.

  • Of these substantiations, 3,078 included reports of suspected sexual abuse, 1,920 included reports of suspected physical abuse, and 539 included reports of suspected serious physical neglect;

  • 951,414 total child abuse history clearance applications submitted. Of these requests, the state identified 2,272 applicants as substantiated or alleged child abuse perpetrators (2,224 were found on file as perpetrators or alleged pending an investigation/court determination of abuse in 2015);

  • 359,802 FBI criminal history checks submitted. Of these requests, 836 persons with a record identified were for crimes that would disqualify an applicant from working or volunteering with a child;

  • 151,087 total allegations of General Protective Services (GPS) concerns. Of these, 31,649 (21%) were found valid. Of valid reports, 13,206 reports included parental substance abuse as an allegation (may have more than one allegation in a report).

  • 166,971 calls received at ChildLine, with 10,957 (6.6%) having been abandoned (42,000, or 43% of total calls to ChildLine, had been abandoned or neglected in 2015, noted previously).

To access the newly-designed report and compare your county across the state, click here.

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