(1) In 2006 there
were over 3,000,000 reports of child abuse and neglect. Only 60
percent of the children from the substantiated reports received
follow-up services, and 20 percent of such children were placed
in foster care as a result of an investigation.
(2) Each year there
are nearly 900,000 substantiated reports of child abuse and
(3) Each year
approximately 60 percent of such substantiated reports are
reports of neglect, 30 percent are physical or sexual abuse
reports, and more than 20 percent are reports that involve other
forms of abuse.
(4) Each year child
abuse and neglect costs the United States an estimated $104
(5) Over 500,000
children (including youth) were in foster care at the end of
fiscal year 2006 and nearly 800,000 spent at least some time in
foster care during the year.
(6) While 51,000
children are adopted from the foster care system each year, more
than 125,000 children are waiting to be adopted.
(7) Each year
approximately 25,000 youth leave the foster care system not
because they have found permanent placements, but because they
have reached the age at which foster care ends.
(8) The child welfare
system includes State and local governments, tribal governments,
child welfare agencies, child welfare caseworkers, private
agencies, social workers, the courts, volunteer court-appointed
special advocates, mental health, public health and health care
professionals, educators, and advocates.
(9) There is an
overrepresentation of certain populations, including Native
Americans, African-Americans and Hispanic populations, in the
child welfare system.
communities face special barriers to addressing human service
needs including a lack of providers, the challenge posed by
attempting to serve a widely dispersed population over a large
geographic area and cultural differences.
(11) The number of
children being raised by grandparents and other relatives is
increasing and exceeds 6,000,000 children. The Government
recognized that kinship care is a permanency option through the
enactment of the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997.
(12) The State courts
make key decisions in the lives of children involved in the
child welfare system, including decisions about whether children
have been victims of child abuse, whether parental rights should
be terminated, and whether children should be reunified with
their families, adopted, or placed in other settings.
(13) The child
welfare system will never fully address its primary mission
unless the courts are an integral and functioning component of a
statewide system of care and protection.
(14) The child
welfare system has an important role to play in preventing abuse
and neglect from occurring in the first place, but is often
unable to support prevention efforts due to funding and
(15) Key indicators
of child health indicators demonstrate declining health of our
Nation's children including increased rates of chronic disease
among children, preventable deaths from childhood injury, and
the potential for children born in this generation to not live
as long as their parents.