An economic impact analysis released today estimates the costs of child abuse and neglect to the United States were nearly $104 billion last year, and a companion report highlights the unavailability of federal child welfare funding for programs and services known to be effective at reducing incidences of child abuse and neglect.
The Total Estimated Cost of Child Abuse and Neglect in the United States (pdf), by Prevent Child Abuse America (PCAA) and Time For Reform: Investing in Prevention, Keeping Children Safe At Home (pdf), by Kids Are Waiting (KAW), a project of The Pew Charitable Trusts, show that while the economic costs associated with child abuse and neglect rose to a staggering $103.8 billion in 2007, merely ten percent of federal money dedicated for child welfare, approximately $741.9 million, can currently be used to prevent child abuse and neglect from occurring. The PCAA report documents pervasive and long-lasting effects of child abuse on children, their families, and society as a whole. The $103.8 billion cost of child abuse and neglect includes more than $33 billion in direct costs for foster care services, hospitalization, mental health treatment, and law enforcement. Indirect costs of over $70 billion include loss of productivity, as well as expenditures related to chronic health problems, special education, and the criminal justice system.