20 Facts About Child Abuse & Neglect


1. Child abuse or neglect is a crime.
2. The California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Law (Penal Code sections 11164-11174.3) may be accessed here
3. Child abuse and neglect affect children of all ages, races, and incomes.
4. Instances of suspected abuse or neglect should be reported to Child Protective Services (CPS) or police.
5. A listing of California’s Hotline Numbers for child abuse reporting for each county may be found here.
6. Parents abusing drugs or alcohol are at higher risk of abusing or neglecting their children.
7. Exposure to domestic violence negatively impacts children. Evidence shows a strong connection between domestic violence and child abuse. Children under two years of age are at greater risk of abuse or neglect.
9. Prematurity is a risk factor for child abuse or neglect.
10. Abusive head trauma or shaken baby syndrome often occurs when an adult shakes a child because of inconsolable crying.
11. Children with disabilities are more likely to be abused or neglected than children with no disabilities.
12. Neglected or sexually abused children may not show physical signs of harm.
13. Children in poverty suffer neglect and abuse 22 times more than children in affluent families.
14. It is against the law to knowingly make a false report of child abuse or neglect.
15. Reporting child abuse or neglect only requires “reasonable suspicion” and does not automatically mean the child will be removed from the home.
16. Only Child Protective Services or a law enforcement agency may conduct an investigation into suspected abuse or neglect.
17. In California, mandated reporters are required to report child abuse and neglect. Mandated reporters are those who come into contact with children through their employment and may receive training at mandatedreporterca.com.
18. Once investigated, reports of suspected child abuse are categorized as substantiated, unfounded or inconclusive (insufficient evidence).
19. Substantiated and inconclusive reports of child abuse or neglect are filed in the California Department of Justice Child Abuse Central Index (CACI) database.
20. Unfounded reports are purged from the CACI database.

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