Child Maltreatment 2011 – The Report

On February 7, 2013, at 1 p.m. E.T., the Children’s Bureau of the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will host the 1-hour Webinar, Child Maltreatment 2011—Key Findings and Expanded Discussion to expound on the findings reported in Child Maltreatment 2011. The report presents national data about child abuse and neglect known to child protective services agencies during fiscal year 2011.

Child Maltreatment 2011 Cover

During FFY 2011, an estimated 3.4 million referrals, were received by CPS agencies. The national
estimate of 3.4 million referrals were estimated to include 6.2 million children.

For FFY 2011, more than 2 million reports were screened in, had a CPS response, and received a
disposition. The national rate of reports that received a disposition was 27.4 per 1,000 children in
the national population.

For 2011, professionals made three-f­ifths (57.6%) of reports of alleged child abuse and neglect. The term professional means that the person had contact with the alleged child maltreatment victim as part of the report source’s job. This term includes teachers, police officers, lawyers, and social services staff.

Nonprofessionals—including friends, neighbors, and relatives—submitted one-­fifth of reports (18.2%). Unclassified sources submitted the remainder of reports (24.3%). Unclassified includes anonymous, “other,” and unknown report sources.

The three largest percentages of report sources were from such professionals as teachers (16.0%),
legal and law enforcement personnel (16.7%), and social services personnel (10.6%).

For FFY 2011, more than 3.7 million (duplicate count) children were the subjects of
at least one report. One­-fifth of these children were found to be victims with dispositions of substantiated (18.5%), indicated (1.0%), and alternative response victim (0.5%). The remaining four-f­ifths of
the children were found to be nonvictims of maltreatment.

unique victim rate was 9.1 victims per 1,000 children in the population. Using this rate, the national
estimate of unique victims for FFY 2011 was 681,000. Comparing 2011 (unique count) victim data to
2010 data, 42 States reported a decreased number of victims. Other victim demographics include:

  • Victims in the age group of birth to 1 year had the highest rate of victimization at 21.2 per 1,000
    children of the same age group in the national population.
  • Victimization was split between the sexes with boys accounting for 48.6 percent and girls account­ing for 51.1 percent. Fewer than 1 percent of victims were of unknown sex.
  • Eighty-­seven percent of (unique count) victims were comprised of three races or ethnicities—
    African­-American (21.5%), Hispanic (22.1%), and White (43.9%).

As in prior years, the greatest percentage of children suffered from neglect. A child may have suffered from multiple forms of maltreatment and was counted once for each maltreatment type. CPS investigations or assessments determined that for unique victims:

  • more than 75 percent (78.5%) suffered neglect
  • more than 15 percent (17.6%) suffered physical abuse
  • less than 10 percent (9.1%) suffered sexual abuse

Child fatalities are the most tragic consequence of maltreatment. For FFY 2011, 51 States reported
a total of 1,545 fatalities. Based on these data, a nationally estimated 1,570 children died from
abuse and neglect. Analyses are performed on the number of child fatalities for whom case­level data
were obtained:

  • The overall rate of child fatalities was 2.10 deaths per 100,000 children.
  • Four-f­ifths (81.6%) of all child fatalities were younger than 4 years old.
  • Boys had a higher child fatality rate than girls at 2.47 boys per 100,000 boys in the population. Girls
    died of abuse and neglect at a rate of 1.77 per 100,000 girls in the population.
  • Nearly 90 percent (86.5%) of child fatalities were comprised of African­-American (28.2%), Hispanic
    (17.8%), and White (40.5%) victims.
  • Four-f­ifths (78.3%) of child fatalities were caused by one or more parents.

A perpetrator is the person who is responsible for the abuse or neglect of a child. Fifty States reported
case­level data about perpetrators using unique identifiers. In these States, the total duplicated count
of perpetrators was 885,003 and the total unique count of perpetrators was 508,849. For 2011:

  • Four-f­ifths (84.6%) of unique perpetrators were between the ages of 20 and 49 years.
  • More than one­-half (53.6%) of perpetrators were women, 45.1 percent of perpetrators were men,
    and 1.3 percent were of unknown sex.
  • Four-f­ifths (80.8%) of duplicated perpetrators were parents.
  • Of the duplicated perpetrators who were parents, 87.6 percent were the biological parents.

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