Child Abuse and Neglect Statistics
Annual ReportFiscal Year 1997


Allegation-Based Investigations

The Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act (ANCRA) provides the Department with the authority to intervene in families on behalf of children. It also limits that authority by defining the conditions that can be considered abuse and neglect. Department Rule and Procedure further clarify the occurrences that require the acceptance and investigation of a report. Upon receipt of the report, the child protection worker conducts an investigation to determine if credible evidence exists to "indicate" any of the allegations identified. This allegation-based system provides statewide consistency in the identification and assessment of possible child abuse and/or neglect. As Figure 4 and Figure 4a demonstrate, there is an almost equal distribution of child abuse/neglect reports between abuse allegations and neglect allegations, although abuse reports are more likely to be indicated. "Risk of Harm" is the largest abuse category and "Lack of Supervision" and "Environmental Neglect" the largest neglect categories. Table 11 provides detailed information on all the reported and "indicated’ numbers for each allegation.

Figure 4

Types of Abuse and Neglect Allegations Reported
Fiscal Year 1997

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Figure 4a

Types of Abuse and Neglect Allegations Indicated
Fiscal Year 1997

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Tables 12 through 15 provide a summary of much of the data discussed previously. The "Family Report" columns show how many of the hotline calls were taken as child abuse/neglect reports and how many were subsequently "indicated". The "Child Victims" and "Average Victims Per Report" make evident that most reports normally include more than one victim. Most reports also include more than one allegation. Even within one child abuse/neglect report victims can be attached to different allegations. This holds true for both reported and "indicated" child abuse/neglect reports. While the majority of reports are either abuse only or neglect only, a number of reports combine abuse and neglect allegations. An interesting difference occurs in the "Both" category of reported versus "indicated" reports. The percent of "indicated" reports with both abuse and neglect issues goes up substantially from what is initially reported. One possible explanation could be that investigators can add additional allegations to a report during the course of an investigation when new concerns emerge.