Child Maltreatment Statistics

The future prosperity of our state is built on the healthy development of children today. All children deserve to grow up in nurturing environments that foster their healthy development. Investments in programs that help parents learn better ways to communicate and interact with their children make parents better able to provide the loving, stable homes children need. Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina supports evidence-based and promising programs that have been proven through research to increase positive interactions between parents and children.

Research on child abuse public awareness shows communities feel less empowered to prevent abuse when events and news stories focus on terrible tragedies and fatalities. If you are planning an awareness event or writing an article, we encourage you to focus on your community’s ability to raise safe, happy, healthy children and on programs and services that are in place to ensure children are in nurturing environments at home, in school, and in the community.

North Carolina law requires that any adult who suspects that abuse is occurring must make a report. Click here for information on how to make a referral in the state of North Carolina.

Child Abuse and Neglect in North Carolina – (SFY) 2015 - 2016

126,962 children with investigated reports of possible abuse and neglect in North Carolina from July 2015 to June 2016.

North Carolina uses the Multiple Response System (MRS) to respond to suspected child abuse and neglect. Every referral is investigated through a strengths-based, family-centered assessment conducted by either local law enforcement or the local DSS. These professionals recognize that parents want what is best for their children, and that many families face issues that make parenting more challenging. When you refer a family to DSS, you are actually referring them for services that will strengthen the family as a whole.

Child Fatalities in North Carolina

25 children died at the hand of a parent or caregiver in North Carolina in 2013 (the latest data available). The number of fatalities varies from year to year and deaths result from a range of situations.

For more information: NC Office of the Chief Medical Examiner

Cost of Child Abuse and Neglect

Child abuse and neglect is a serious issue that impacts us all. The cost of child abuse and neglect go far beyond the immediate medical, social service, and criminal justice costs to intervene. They also include long-term costs of adult physical and mental health care, adult justice system costs, and lost productivity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Prevent Child Abuse America released reports in 2012 that document the actual costs of child abuse and neglect to our society. Click here to learn more and read those reports.

For more information

Call 1-800-CHILDREN

Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina

A chapter of Prevent Child Abuse America

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