On Thursday, January 19, HHS released the 2015 Child Maltreatment Report. In Fiscal Year 2015, approximately 683,000 children were victims of abuse and neglect. Comparing the national estimate of victims from 2011 (658,000) to the rounded number of reported victims in 2015 (683,000) shows an increase of 3.8 percent.
The change in victim counts from FY 2014 to FY 2015 ranged from a 25.5 percent decrease to a 56.8 percent increase; four states had a percent increase larger than 20.0 percent. Of the 3.4 million children who were the subject of an investigation or alternative response, 683,000 were determined to be victims of a combination of maltreatments, such as neglect and physical abuse. Alternatively, of the 683,000 victims, 63.4 percent suffered only neglect. CPS agencies received an estimated 4.0 million referrals involving approximately 7.2 million children. Both of these numbers represent increases which have generally totaled less than 4 million covering under 7 million children.
A nationally estimated 1,670 children died from abuse and neglect at a rate of 2.25 per 100,000 children in the population. This represents a 5.7 percent increase from the 2011 national estimate of 1,580. Fatality rates by state ranged from 0.00 to 5.67 per 100,000 children in the population.
Information is reported annually through the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System or NCANDS. Because state reporting is voluntary and states receive very little funding to set up reporting systems, in some categories information that may be missing from some states is estimated so the official data may be slightly different than the actual hard numbers listed in the report.