New Child Maltreatment Report Finds Child Abuse and Neglect Decreased to a Five-Year Low

Today, the Children’s Bureau at the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Administration for Children and Families (ACF) released the annual child maltreatment report. The report reveals that of the nationally estimated 3,016,000 children who were the subject of a child welfare agency response in fiscal year (FY) 2021, 600,000 children (estimated) were determined to be victims of maltreatment, the lowest number of children identified as victims of maltreatment in the last five years. The number and rate of fatalities have fluctuated during the past five years. An estimated 1,820 children died from abuse and neglect in FY 2021 compared to an estimated 1,770 children whose deaths were determined as due to maltreatment during FY 2020.  When states submit their data to the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System, they have the opportunity to provide additional context on the data that will be published in the report. The additional context in today’s report suggests, for the second year in a row, decreases in screened-in referrals of alleged maltreatment may have contributed to the changes noted in the 2021 metrics.

The child maltreatment report presents fiscal year 2021 data, which is the latest data available, and can be found at:


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