Child Abuse and Neglect

  • In the United States, Georgia ranks 39th for child wellbeing[i]. An estimated 1 in 10 children will experience sexual abuse before their 18th birthday[ii]. The total direct costs of childhood maltreatment in a victim’s lifetime is estimated to be at least $226,000. In 2017, 122,752 maltreatment reports were received by Child Protective Services in Georgia, with 72% of reports having enough information to be “screened in,” representing 207,982 children. Of this number, the reports of 10,487 children were substantiated, and 97 children died as a result of abuse and neglect[iii]. Children who experience child maltreatment such as physical abuse or neglect earlier in their lives are at greater risk for committing violence against peers, bullying, teen dating violence, and committing child abuse, elder abuse, intimate partner violence, and sexual violence later in life[iv]

  • DPH is a statewide leader in the effort to foster and support safe, stable, and nurturing relationships and environments for children in Georgia. Efforts include awareness around ACEs, supporting Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) programs, Home Visiting, and other family- and parent-engagement programs, a focus on trauma-focused therapies, and promoting professional-practice reforms (e.g., pediatrician training programs). DPH participates in networks and initiatives like Strengthening Families Georgia, Georgia Essentials for Childhood (one of three backbone organizations for this collective-impact initiative), the Prevent Child Abuse Georgia Network, and the Georgia Family Connection Partnership Network. 

    • Child Abuse and Neglect Initiatives through GA Core SVIPP:

      • Participate as an active member and supportive backbone agency of Georgia Essentials for Childhood. Georgia Essentials is a multidisciplinary partnership that proposes strategies that promote the types of relationships and environments that help children grow to be healthy and productive citizens so that they, in turn, can build stronger and safer families and communities for their children. Georgia Essentials for Childhood does this by examining data; proposing strategies and programs; advocating for policies; and building partnerships and general awareness.

[i] 2018 Kids Count Data book. Annie E. Casey Foundation. Retrieved from: https://www.aecf.org/resources/2018-kids-count-data-book

[ii] Townsend, C., & Rheingold, A.A. (2013). Estimating a Child Sexual Abuse Prevalence Rate for Practitioners: Studies. Charleston, S.C., Darkness To Light. Retrieved from: http://www.d2l.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/PREVALENCE-RATE-WHITE-PAP…

[iii] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children’s Bureau (2019). Child Maltreatment 2017. Available at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/cb/cm2017.pdf

[iv] Wilkins, N., Tsao, B., Hertz, M., Davis, R., Klevins, J. (2014). Connecting the Dots: An Overview of the Links Among Multiple Forms of Violence. CDC. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pub/connecting_dots.html