Child Abuse and Neglect Statistics
Annual ReportFiscal Year 1997

The Child Abuse Hotline (State Central Register)

During fiscal year 1997 (July 1, 1996 to June 30, 1997), the State Central Register received 355,579 calls. This was only about 3,000 more calls than were received the previous fiscal year. Not all calls to the hotline result in a report of suspected child abuse or neglect. Some calls are simply requests for information. Only one in every 5 calls resulted in a report during the fiscal year. The number of calls received each of the last 10 fiscal years is presented in Figure 1.

Figure 1

Incoming Calls to the State Central Register

Fiscal Years 1987-97

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Report Volume During Fiscal Year 1997

During state fiscal year 1997, 119,405 children were reported as suspected victims of child abuse and/or neglect (Table 1). This number represents a "duplicated" count of children since a child may be reported more than once during a fiscal year. For the past two fiscal years, the number of children reported has decreased from the previous year. This decrease is due, in part, to a change in the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act in fiscal year 1996, that amended the law to exclude children already living safely with relatives as being neglected children.

Table 1

Number of Children
Reported As Abused or Neglected

Fiscal Year Children Reported Percent of Change from Previous Fiscal Year
1987 91,714 30.2%
1988 94,086 2.6%
1989 102,230 8.7%
1990 103.420 1.2%
1991 107,307 3.8%
1992 130,562 21.7%
1993 125,342 -4.0%
1994 136,312 8.8%
1995 139,718 2.5%
1996 125,220 -10.4%
1997 119,405 -4.6%

 

Table 2

Number of Children

Indicated for  Abuse and Neglected

Fiscal Year Children Indicated Percent of Change from Previous
Fiscal Year
1987 38,857 14.8%
1988 41,329 6.4%
1989 40,932 -1.0%
1990 38,209 -6.7%
1991 37,304 -2.4%
1992 43,169 15.7%
1993 42,220 -2.2%
1994 49,536 17.3%
1995 53,368 7.7%
1996 44,754 -16.1%
1997 42,251 -5.6%

Demographics

Tables 3 and 4 provide a breakdown of certain characteristics of reported and "indicated" child victims by age, gender and ethnicity. Children ranging from newborn through 9 years composed 70% of the reported child abuse/neglect population. The same group accounted for 72.4% of the "indicated" report victims in FY 97.

Slightly more females than males were the subjects of reported and "indicated" child abuse and neglect reports. The figures in the ethnic grouping reveal a significant over-representation of African-American children as victims in reported and "indicated" child abuse/neglect. This is most apparent when reviewing  the "rate per 1,000"* category. African-American children were reported  victims at a rate of 85.7 per 1,000 and "indicated" as victims at a rate of 32.6 per 1,000. This contrasts sharply with white and Hispanic children who were reported at a rate of mid-20's per 1,000 and "indicated" at a rate of less than 10 per 1,000.

TABLE 3

Age, Gender, Ethnic Group

Children Reported as Abused and Neglected

Fiscal Year 1997

Child Characteristics

Number of Children

Percent

Rate per 1,000

Age of Child      
00-02 27,424 23.0% 45.9
03-05 26,403 22.1% 51.4
06-09 29,278 24.5% 24.1
10-13 21,525 18.0% 19.3
14-17 14,208 11.9% 23.1
Not Reported 506 0.5%  
Gender of Child      
Male 58,342 48.9% 38.7
Female 59,797 50.1% 41.6
Not Reported 1,266 1.1%  
Child's Ethnic Group    
White 57,638 48.3% 27.1
Black 47,391 37.7% 85.7
Hispanic 9,884 8.3% 24.7
Other/Not Specified 4,492 3.8%  
Total 119,405 100.0% 40.5

 

Table 4

Age, Gender, Ethnic Group
Children Indicated for Abuse and Neglect
Fiscal Year 1997

Child Characteristics Number of Children Percent Rate per 1,000
Age of Child      
00-02 11,579 27.4% 19.4
03-05 9,042 21.4% 17.6
06-09 9,958 23.6% 8.2
10-13 7,260 17.2% 6.5
14-17 4,380 10.4% 7.1
Not Reported 32 0.1%  
Gender of Child      
Male 20,465 48.4% 13.6
Female 21,541 51.0% 15.0
Not Reported 245 0.6%  
Child's Ethnic Group    
White 19,245 45.5% 9.1
Black 18,046 42.7% 32.5
Hispanic 3,539 8.4% 8.8
Other/Not Specified 1,421 3.4%  
Total 42,251 100.0% 14.3

*Rate per 1,000 children under age 18 based on the 1990 U.S. Census.