The University of Georgia
Child maltreatment is an ever-growing national problem. The few cases of child abuse shown on the news demonstrate only a small portion of the problem. As determined by the CDC, 1,760 children died in the United States in 2007 from abuse and neglect and 794,000 children were found to be victims of maltreatment by protective services in 2007 (http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/CM-FactSheet-a.pdf). Swift and Callahan (2009) point out that large portions of these children come from ‘at risk’ populations, meaning they are among a particular group that is more likely for whatever reason than the general population to experience maltreatment (p. 178). These shocking statistics capture only a portion of victimized children in the United States, which is why many individuals and services are dedicated to the welfare of children (p.180). Kirst-Ashman (2010) describes Child welfare as “the traditional term for the network of policies and programs designed to empower families, promote a healthy environment, protect children, and meet children’s needs” (P. 245). This research paper highlights child welfare problems such as child abuse and neglect, investigates child abuse and neglect prevention, and explores the resources to help ensure children’s safety in the United States. Defining Maltreatment
Who is at Risk for Abuse
According to CDC, a combination of factors contributes to the maltreatment of children (Center for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2010). Individual factors of the victim such as age and disability can increase the likelihood of abuse (CDC, 2010). Children younger than four years of age and a child that has special needs like disabilities, mental retardation, health issues, etc are at-risk for maltreatment (CDC, 2010). Along with individual factors, there are family risk factors as well. Children living in isolated homes are at greater risk for abuse and neglect because...