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Twelve Years of Reporting Child Maltreatment 2001

NCJ Number
Date Published
145 pages
This report presents national data about child maltreatment from the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS) for the year 2001.
In 1988, the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) directed the Department of Health and Human Services to establish a national reporting and analysis system for the tracking of child maltreatment in the United States. States receiving funding from the Basic State Grant program must report information regarding child maltreatment. The first chapter in this report provides background information about the NCANDS and how the data are analyzed. The next five chapters present the child maltreatment data from 2001, focusing on reports of maltreatment, victims, perpetrators, fatalities, and services. The last chapter provides information regarding additional research projects that utilize the NCANDS. Main findings of the 2001 report include the fact that child protection agencies received over 50,000 referrals each week alleging child abuse or neglect. Professionals submitted 56.5 percent of the referrals. Approximately one-fourth of all referrals in 2001 were found to have basis for further investigation. An estimated 903,000 children were victims of abuse or neglect during 2001. This rate of child victimization is approximately the same as the rate of abuse or neglect for 2000. Children aged birth to 3 years accounted for 27.7 percent of victims. During 2001, 57.2 percent of victims were neglected, 18.6 percent were physically abused, 9.6 percent were sexually abused, while other types of maltreatment plagued 26.6 percent of child victims. In terms of the perpetrators of child maltreatment, during 2001 women accounted for 59.3 percent of all perpetrators. One parent acting alone accounted for 80.9 percent of all maltreatment cases, and children were most likely to be abused by their mothers (40.5 percent). Nationally, during 2001, approximately 1,300 children died of maltreatment. Children under the age of 1 were at greatest risk, with fatalities in this age group accounting for 40.9 percent of all child maltreatment fatalities. Most fatalities were associated with neglect (35.6 percent of child fatalities) as opposed to abuse. In terms of child protection services, an estimated 2 million children nationally received protective services during 2001. Approximately 48 days transpired between the beginning of an investigation and the provision of protective services. The appendices provide information about data items, data submissions, definitions of terms, and State commentaries.