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Estimated Annual Cost of Child Abuse and Neglect

NCJ Number
Richard J. Gelles; Staci Perlman
Date Published
April 2012
10 pages
This report from Prevent Child Abuse America presents information on the estimated annual cost of child abuse and neglect in the United States.
The findings from this research on the estimated annual costs of child abuse and neglect in the United States include the following: for 2012, the total indirect and direct cost of child maltreatment is estimated to be $78,405,740,013, and adding in the indirect costs of early intervention ($247,804,537) and emergency/transitional housing ($1,606,866,538) brings the total estimated costs to $80,260,411,087; the direct costs of child abuse and neglect is calculated to be $33,333,619,510; the total indirect costs of child maltreatment is estimated to be $46,926,791,578; and the total yearly cost of each abused and neglected child in the United States is estimated to be $63,871. This report uses previous research as a basis for providing more accurate estimates of the annual costs associated with child maltreatment in the United States. The amount calculated for the annual direct cost of child abuse and neglect includes costs for hospitalization of injured children; mental health treatment costs for physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, and emotional and physical neglect; operating costs for child welfare systems, and costs of law enforcement personnel who participate in child maltreatment investigations. Estimated indirect costs include costs associated with the impact of maltreatment. For example, maltreated children often require special education and early intervention services to manage developmental delays; and maltreated children are more likely to be homeless or engage in juvenile delinquency, leading to additional housing and juvenile justice expenditures. References