protect kids

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A National Campaign To Increase Awareness of the Victimization of Children within the United States

"Our children are our greatest treasure. They are our future.

Those who abuse them tear at the fabric of our society and weaken our nation."

~Nelson Mandela

Top Societal Challenges Stem from Child Abuse

CHILD
MALTREATMENT
ADVERSE CHILDHOOD
EXPERIENCES
TOP SOCIETAL
CHALLENGES

The familial cycles of child maltreatment and it's connection to social issues are undeniable. Including big issues like substance abuse, mental health, crime, & human trafficking. We must look at the scope of the child maltreatment statistics as it correlates to the Adverse Childhood Experiences study, to fully understand the long-term implications. When we ignore our most vulnerable children, we enable the reactive destruction of our communities.

“So many of society’s problems are directly linked to foster care outcomes, it is shocking.”

Kevin Smith (District Judge from Wichita, KS)

Child Maltreatment Statistics

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Child Maltreatment Stats

8 MILLION REPORTS

each year

From these reports, formal investigations completed by Child Protective Services are completed for over 3.5 million children each year.

Since 2010, official child maltreatment reports are up by over 32%, yet there is a 5% reduction in children receiving protective care. 

Mandated reporters provide almost 70% of all official reports. Causing reduction of reports by over 50% during COVID-19. 

Child Maltreatment Stats

OVER 1,800 CHILDREN DIE

each year

From the nearly 80% of victims who stay in their abusive situations, over 1,800 of them will die as a direct result of their abuse or neglect within 12 months of the child welfare investigation. 

The majority of fatalities are at the hands of their own parents, with women accounting for more than half of all abuse reports.

Boys have a higher fatality rate than girls. 

Child Maltreatment Stats

678,000 VERIFIED VICTIMS

each year

From the 3.5 million investigations, Child Welfare Investigators verify that over 678,000 children are victims of abuse & neglect, each year. 

 

The greatest number of victims are under the age of four. The most common reason is neglect, most often correlated to parental substance abuse. 

Most victims are only added to this list after a significant number of official child maltreatment reports have been made.

Child Maltreatment Stats

80% DEATHS ARE LITTLES

under the age of 4

From the 1,800 children who die each year, over 80% of them were very young children, under the age of four. And nearly half of those littles ones were just infants at the time of their horrific death.

Over 70% of the children who were killed were as a resulted of severe and prolonged neglect. Additionally, nearly 50% of those who were killed suffered the horrors of sever, unimaginable physical abuse. 

Child Maltreatment Stats

80% OF VICTIMS STAY

in abusive situations

From the 678,000 victims, nearly 80% of the children do not receive protective care. Yet they remain in their abusive situations with loose to no oversight by child protective services. 

Despite an increase of over 30% in child maltreatment reports and nearly a 15% increase in the number of child fatalities (since 2010) the number of children receiving protective care has decreased by almost 10%. Resulting in more children survering the horrors of abuse.

Child Maltreatment Stats

LACK OF SAFE HOMES

creates increased need

The number one cited need by child welfare professionals nationwide is a lack of frontline families who are ready to provide safe homes.

There are less than 200,000 foster families licensed to serve over 650,000 children already in protective care. Over 50% of those families are lost each year, primarily due to families not knowing how to navigate the complexities of the system.

ADVERSE CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCES

What are Adverse Childhood Experiences?


Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) is a study that measures the ten leading types of childhood trauma, 50% accessed from direct trauma endured and 50% accessed from trauma experienced as a result of domestic situations. In 1998, CDC-Kaiser Permanente published a groundbreaking study that investigated the impact of ACEs on physical and mental health problems. ACEs is a simple ten question test that provide insightful information to the level of trauma a child has experienced.




How is Adverse Childhood Trauma Measured?


Each type of trauma a child has experienced counts as one point in the ACEs testing. So a child who has been physically abused, with a drug addict parent who witnessed domestic violence and their parent's divorce has an ACEs score of four. The effects of adverse childhood experiences often cause children to act out and be marginalized. Statistically children with an ACEs score of 4 or above are thirty-two times more likely to have learning or behavior problems in school. 12.5% of all kids in the US have an ACEs score that is 4 or above. The effects of adverse childhood experiences carries well over into adulthood, with statistics showing us that adults with an ACEs score of 4 or above:

  • Dies an Average of 20 Years Sooner
  • 4.5X as likely to become depressed,
  • 7X more likely to develop alcoholism
  • 10X more likely for drug abuse
  • 12X more likely to commit suicide




Why is the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Testing Beneficial?


When caring for children who have been victimized to one degree or another, the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) testing allows for caregivers and parents to understand measurably the challenges the child is facing. Research has found that a child with an ACEs score of four or above is four times more likely to become depressed, seven times more likely to develop substance abuse, and thirty-two times more likely to have learning or behavior problems in school. ACEs scores give us the ability to peer into the challenges children are experiencing as a result of trauma. This study also shows the connection between these adverse childhood experienced and our society's biggest problems. Taking the ACEs test as an adult is also beneficial. Sometimes those who are drawn to care or advocate for traumatized children have had an element of trauma in their childhoods. By taking the ACEs test, adults can better understand their trauma as they walk out their journey of healing and serve children in that same healing process. CLICK HERE TO TAKE THE ACES TEST HERE





Top Societal Challenges

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Abuse Correlation Stats

SUBSTANCE ABUSE

Approx. 23 Million in the U.S.A.

2/3 of all addicts report that they were victims of systemic and prolonged childhood abuse and/or neglect. 

78% of all new child maltreatment cases are due to severe neglect, which most often occurs due to prolonged parental substance abuse.

Children who grow up around substance abuse, are x3 more likely to experience physical or sexual abuse. They are also x4 more likely to experience severe neglect over their piers.

Abuse Correlation Stats

SEXUAL ABUSE

860,000 convicted sex offenders in U.S.A.

1-in-3 teens on the street will be lured into prostitution within 48 hours of leaving home. 

 

A household with a history of child maltreatment, cause a child to be x10 more likely to be a victim of sexual abuse over their piers. 

1-in-3 girls and 1-in-5 boys are officially reported as victims of sexual abuse. 60% of victims have never told anyone.

Abuse Correlation Stats

VIOLENT CRIME

1.2 Million Each Year

Child maltreatment doubles the probability that victims will engage in some form of crime as an adult. 

Nearly 70% of all incarcerated male felons reported some form of early childhood abuse. Most reported that abuses occurred before the age of 12, and the most common form of maltreatment was physical abuse. 

Children within protective care remain at high risk from being institutionalized when placed in group homes or have more than 5+ placement changes. 

Abuse Correlation Stats

EXTREME VIOLENCE

3 million domestic violence reports / year

1-in-3 children exposed to prolonged abuse will grow up to abuse their own children. 

 

Girls who grow up in a violent home are 200% more likely to be victimized as adults.

 

Boys who grow up in a violent home are more than twice as likely to become a perpetrator of abuse themselves once they become an adult. 

Abuse Correlation Stats

SEVERE MENTAL ILLNESS

Approx. 13.1 Million in the U.S.A.

80% of young adults who reported childhood maltreatment met the criteria for at least one mental health diagnosis. 

Abused children are x2 more likely to suffer from PTSD than U.S. war veterans according to brain scans. 

The younger the child is during severe maltreatment the more devastating the effects on their brain & emotional development.   

 

Emotional abuse causes psychological & nervous system damage like physical abuse. 

Abuse Correlation Stats

HUMAN TRAFFICKING

Up to 50,000 victims within the U.S.A

Over 60% of all human trafficking victims within the U.S.A. have a history of child maltreatment and child protective services. 

Over 88% are runaways with severe maltreatment history and no family to return to once rescued. 

Over 14% of all missing children nationwide are suspected to be trafficked.

FOSTER CARE IS THE FRONTLINE RESPONSE TO CHILD MALTREATMENT

Our nation is filled with vulnerable children that are abused, neglected, victimized, abandoned, or forgotten. This injustice is on the greatest display within our national foster care system. Foster care is the frontline response to child maltreatment and it is BROKEN. Injustices continue for children within protective care when they do not have loving caretakers and competent advocates to be their voice! This is why our mission is to EMPOWER FRONTLINE FAMILIES to be competent child-centered advocates amid fostering and adoption challenges!

 

protecting kids

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