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Child Abuse and Neglect Cost Nation over $100 Billion per Year; Most Federal Child Welfare Funds Unavailable for Prevention Services and Programs
Date:1/29/2008

New Report Stresses the Need for More Federal Dollars to Prevent Child

Abuse and Neglect

ATLANTA, Jan. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- An economic impact analysis released today estimates the costs of child abuse and neglect to society were nearly $104 billion last year, and a companion report highlights the unavailability of federal child welfare funding for programs and services shown to be effective at reducing incidences of child abuse and neglect.

Total Estimated Cost of Child Abuse and Neglect in the United States, by Prevent Child Abuse America (PCAA) and Time for Reform: Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect, by Kids Are Waiting (KAW), a project of The Pew Charitable Trusts, show that while the economic costs associated with child abuse and neglect rose to a staggering $103.8 billion in 2007, merely ten percent of federal money dedicated for child welfare, approximately $741.9 million, can currently be used to prevent child abuse and neglect from occurring by strengthening families.

The PCAA report documents pervasive and long-lasting effects of child abuse on children, their families, and society as a whole. The $103.8 billion cost of child abuse and neglect includes more than $33 billion in direct costs for foster care services, hospitalization, mental health treatment, and law enforcement. Indirect costs of over $70 billion include loss of productivity, as well as expenditures related to chronic health problems, special education, and the criminal justice system.

The KAW report finds that the current federal child welfare financing structure does not adequately fund services and supports that could help keep more children safely with their families. The report shows that the majority of dedicated federal funding for child welfare is currently reserved for placing and maintaining children in foster care and cannot be used for prevention or reunification services or programs.

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SOURCE Prevent Child Abuse Georgia
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