Preventing child maltreatment is a public health goal1
Child Maltreatment shows the number of substantiated allegations of child maltreatment per 1,000 children by ethnicity. Neglect, physical abuse, custodial interference and sexual abuse are types of child maltreatment that can lead to poor physical and mental health well into adulthood. The long term negative effects of maltreatment include poor developmental outcomes for children such as increased risk for anxiety, depression, and aggressive behavior.2 Child maltreatment has been linked to higher levels of child and adolescent obesity and sexual risk-taking as well as poor school performance.1 Child maltreatment affects children’s health now and later, and costs our country as much as other high profile public health problems.2
In 2011 (baseline year), there were 9.0 instances of child maltreatment per 1,000 children. The most recent rate available is 7.5 (2019). We hope to reach a target of 3.0 or lower by 2022.
Substantiated Allegations of Child Maltreatment per 1,000 Children, Over Time
Substantiated Allegations of Child Maltreatment per 1,000 Children, by Demographic Category
Indicator: Incidence of child maltreatment (including physical, psychological, neglect, etc.) per 1,000 children
Description: Substantiation Rates for a given year are computed by dividing the unduplicated count of children with a child maltreatment substantiation by the child population and then multiplying by 1,000. For more information, see: http://cssr.berkeley.edu/ucb_childwelfare/RefRates.aspx
Data Limitations: http://cssr.berkeley.edu/cwscmsreports/methodologies/default.aspx?definition=allegDetail&backReport=RefRates&report=
Some investigations for child maltreatment may not close by the end of the year. The data source for a year goes up to the end of June 30 in the following year, which allows for an additional six months of time to close investigations. The rate should not increase significantly after this. However, indicator updates prior to this period should be considered preliminary as the rate may increase after the data source is closed.
Indicator Steward: California Child Welfare Indicators Project (CCWIP)
Indicator Source: California’s child welfare administrative data system (CWS/CMS)
Indicator Calculation Methodology:
Data Collection Methodology:
Program URL Link:
Indicator Source Changes: As of Quarter 4, 2014, the 2010-2015 child population data—the denominators for these rates—have been updated with revised projections (December 2014) from the California Department of Finance. As a result, there may be differences in rates for these years when compared with those published previously.
1. Ryan Honomichi, S. B. (2009). Predicting and Minimizing the Recurrence of Maltreatment. Davis, CA: California Department of Social Services. Weblink: http://www.childsworld.ca.gov/res/pdf/LR-PredictingRecurrence.pdf
2. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (2014, January 2014). Child Maltreatment: Consequences. Retrieved November 2015, 2015, from www.cdc.gov: http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/childmaltreatment/consequences.html
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