Report Shows Children with Disabilities More Likely to be Victims of Maltreatment

April 9, 2008

A report from the Administration on Children and Families within the US Department of Health and Human Services, called "Child Maltreatment 2006," is now available online. This annual publication has the national and state findings on referrals for child maltreatment, substantiated cases, and types of abuse and neglect. Information on perpetrators of maltreatment, child protective services (CPS) workload, and preventive and post-investigation services is also included.

Highlights include the following:

  • Children who were reported with any of the following risk factors were considered as having a disability: mental retardation, emotional disturbance, visual or hearing impairment, learning disability, physical disability, behavioral problems, or another medical problem. In general, children with such risk factors are undercounted, as not every child receives a clinical diagnostic assessment from CPS agency staff.
  • Nearly 8 percent (7.7%) of victims had a reported disability. Three percent of victims had behavior problems and 1.9 percent of victims were emotionally disturbed. A victim could have been reported with more than one type of disability.
  • Children who were reported as disabled were 54 percent more likely to be considered a victim of maltreatment than children who were not reported as disabled.
  • Child victims who were reported with a disability were 52 percent more likely to experience recurrence than children without a disability.