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                          STATEMENT OF



                      DOUGLAS J. BESHAROV*



                           BEFORE THE



        SELECT COMMITTEE ON CHILDREN, YOUTH, AND FAMILIES



                          MARCH 3, 1987





*Douglas J. Besharov, J.D. , LL.M. , is a Resident Scholar at the 

American Enterprise Institute, Washington, D.C. He was the first 

director of the U.S. National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect, 1975- 

1979. His most recent book is The Vulnerable Social Worker: Liability 

For Serving Children and Families (National Association of Social 

Workers, Silver Spring, MD 1985). 







Thank you for inviting me to testify before you today. The Select 

Committee has been an important force for bringing attention to the 

needs of children, youth, and families. Besides your many other 

contributions, Mr. Chairman, I know that your personal efforts were 

singularly responsible for child sexual abuse being a matter of 

specific federal action. And, from my work on welfare reform, I know 

of Congressman Coats' deep concern over family breakdown and its 

personal and societal consequences. 



In accordance with Mr. Miller's letter of invitation to me, I will be 

focusing my remarks on the problem of "unfounded" reports. However, 

before doing so, I want to emphasize the importance of strong child 

protective efforts at the state and local level--and of strong yet 

flexible leadership at the national level. The nation's child 

protective capacity is many times greater now than it was ten short 

years ago. Given the choice between what things were like then and 

what things are like now, I would unhesitantly chose our present 

system--warts and all. But that is not to say that we cannot try to do 

better. That is the spirit in which I hope that you will take my 

remarks. 



In the past twenty years, there has been an enormous expansion of 

programs to protect abused and neglected children, in large part 

encouraged by federal funding. In 1985, more than 1.9 million children 

were reported to the authorities as suspected victims of child abuse 

and neglect. This is more than twelve times the estimated 150,000 

children reported in 1963. Specialized "child protective agencies" 

have been established in all major population centers. Federal and 

state expenditures for child protective programs and associated foster 

care services now exceeds $3.5 billion a year. 



In part because of the impetus of the federal Child Abuse Prevention 

and Treatment Act, there now exists a nationwide infrastructure of 

laws and agencies to protect endangered children--and it has made a 

difference. Increased reporting and specialized child protective 

agencies have saved many thousands of children from death and serious 

injury. The best estimate is that, nationwide, child abuse deaths are 

down from 2-3,000 a year to about 1,000 a year. In New York State, for 

example, within five years of the passage of a comprehensive reporting 

law which also mandated the creation of specialized investigative 

Staffs, there was a fifty percent reduction in child fatalities, from 

about 200 a @ear to fewer than 100. 



Nevertheless, there are still major problems--which threaten to undo 

past improvements. 



Of the estimated one thousand children who die under circumstances 

suggestive of parental maltreatment each year, between 35 and 50 

percent were previously reported to child protective agencies. Many 

thousands of other children suffer serious injuries after their plight 

becomes known to the authorities. 



At the same time, about 65% of all reports are labelled unfounded (or 

a similar term) after investigation. This, by the way, is in sharp 

contrast to 1975, when only about 35% of all reports were "unfounded." 



As I will try to describe, these two problems are connected--and can 

be addressed by an amendment to the federal child abuse act. 



Unfortunately, the determination that a report is unfounded can only 

be made after an unavoidably traumatic investigation that is, 

inherently, a breach of parental and family privacy. To determine 

whether a particular child is in danger, caseworkers must inquire into 

the most intimate personal and family matters. Often, it is necessary 

to question friends, relatives, and neighbors, a@ well as school 

teachers, day care personnel, doctors, clergymen, and others who know 

the family. 



Richard Wexler, a reporter in Rochester, New York, tells what happened 

to Kathy and Alan Heath (not their real names): "Three times in as 

many years, someone--they suspect an `unstable' neighbor--has called 

in anonymous accusations of child abuse against them. All three times, 

those reports were determined to be `unfounded,' but only after 

painful investigations by workers. . . . The first time the family was 

accused, Mrs. Heath says, the worker `spent almost two hours in my 

house going over the allegations over and over again. . . . She went 

through everything from a strap to an iron, to everything that could 

cause bruises, asking me if I did those things. [ After she left] I 

sat on the floor and cried my eyes out. I couldn't believe that 

anybody could do that to me. `Two more such investigations followed." 



"The Heaths say that even after they were `proven innocent' three 

times, the county did nothing to help them restore their reputation 

among friends and neighbors who had been told, as potential 

`witnesses,' that the Heaths were suspected of child abuse." 



Laws against child abuse are an implicit recognition that family 

privacy must give way to the need to protect helpless children. But in 

seeking to protect children, it is all too easy for courts and social 

agencies to ignore the legitimate rights of parents. Each year, over 

500,000 families are put through investigations of unfounded reports. 

This is a massive and unjustified violation of parental rights. As 

Supreme Court Justice Brandies warned in a different context, 

"experience should teach us to be most on guard to protect liberty 

when the government's purposes are beneficent." 



I have also taken the liberty of attaching a case history of another 

troubling case. 



There are, of course, many reasons for the high unfounded rate--

evidence of child maltreatment is hard to obtain, overworked and 

inadequately trained workers may not uncover the evidence that does 

exist, and many cases are labelled unfounded as a means of caseload 

control or when there are no services available to help the family. 



Moreover, a certain level of unfounded reporting is necessary to make 

the system work; it is an inherent--and legitimate--aspect of 

reporting suspected child maltreatment. W* ask hundreds of thousands 

of strangers to report their suspicions we do not ask that they be 

certain. 



These realities, it seems to me, make an unfounded rate of 30-40 

percent acceptable. It is the last 20 to 30 percent of unfounded 

reports that is the cause for concern. For the reasons I will 

describe, they could be removed from the system without threatening 

the fundamental mission of child protective agencies. The failure to 

do so imperils the future credibility of child protective efforts. 



The current flood of unfounded reports is overwhelming the limited 

resources of child protective agencies. For fear of missing even one 

abused child, workers perform extensive investigations of vague and 

apparently unsupported reports. Even when a home visit based on an 

anonymous report turns up no evidence of maltreatment , they usually 

interview neighbors, school teachers, and day care personnel to make 

sure that the child is not abused. And, even repeated anonymous and 

unfounded reports do not prevent a further investigation, as the Heath 

case illustrates. But all this takes time. 



As a result, children in real danger are getting lost in the press of 

inappropriate cases. Forced to allocate a substantial portion of their 

limited resources to unfounded reports, child protective agencies are 

increasingly unable to respond promptly and effectively when children 

are in serious danger. 



Ironically. by weakening the system's ability to respond, unfounded 

reports actually discourage appropriate reports. The sad fact is that 

many responsible individuals are not reporting endangered children 

because they feel that the system's response will be so weak that 

reporting will do no good and, indeed, may make things worse. 

According to the federal government's National Study of the Incidence 

and Severity of Child Abuse and Neglect, professionals--physicians, 

nurses, teachers, social workers, child care workers, and police 

workers--still fail to report half of the maltreated children whom 

they see. Each year, about 50,000 children with observable injuries 

severe enough to require hospitalization are not reported. 



Unreasonably high unfounded rates are a public relations disaster. 

Almost every journalist who covers children's issues knows that the 

number of missing children was grossly exaggerated--or at least 

misleading--and that the first journalist to write about it won a 

Pulitzer Prize. To be blunt, many reporters are now eager to challenge 

child abuse statistics and to "expose" what is really going on. 



Let me tell you about a phone call I received late last year. A local 

radio reporter called to ask what she could do to help her housekeeper 

of ten years who had just been reported for child abuse. The reporter 

said the allegations were "crazy." 



The housekeeper had been summoned to her twelve-year-old son's school 

because he had been misbehaving. She was required to take her son 

home. As she was leaving the school yard with her son, she whacked him 

across the rear with her hand . The principal saw this and made a 

report of suspected abuse on the basis of that one whack--nothing 

more. 



One more journalist is now convinced that there is something very 

wrong with the reporting process. 



The growth of VOCAL an organization of parents who claim that they 

were wrongly accused of child abuse and neglect, has also been 

encouraged by the high unfounded rate. VOCAL now has over 3,000 

members, with chapters in more than 30 states. To the extent that 

VOCAL calls for better trained child protective workers coupled with a 

greater recognition of parental rights, I am a strong supporter of the 

organization--regardless of the guilt or innocence of its members. But 

one does not have to share this view to realize that VOCAL is becoming 

a powerful political force. In Minnesota, VOCAL members collected 

2,000 signatures on a petition asking the Governor to remove Scott 

County prosecutor Kathleen Morris from office because of her alleged 

misconduct in bringing charges, subsequently dismissed, against 

twenty-four adults in Jordan, Minnesota. In Arizona, VOCAL members 

were temporarily able to sidetrack a $5.4 million budget supplement 

which would have added 77, investigators to local child protective 

agencies. 



I understand that VOCAL is about to commence a national letter writing 

campaign directed at the Congress. The purpose? To gain support for 

amendments to the federal child abuse act that would encourage states 

to do a better job protecting the rights of innocent parents--and 

their children. 



To ignore the present harmfully high level of unfounded reports is to 

court catastrophe. In the short run, it may be possible to avoid 

admitting that the reporting system has serious shortcomings. In the 

long run, though, already severe problems will worsen--and become more 

visible to outsiders. As more people realize that hundreds of 

thousands of innocent people are having their reputations tarnished 

and their privacy invaded while tens of thousands of endangered 

children are going unprotected, continued support for child protective 

efforts will surely erode. 



Child protective professionals have begun to respond. At the national 

level, the APWA, through its National Association of Public Child 

Welfare Administrators, and the U.S. Children's Bureau, under the 

leadership of Jane Burnley, have begun work on the problem of 

unfounded reports. So have many states. 



What should be the agenda for reform? I believe that the only way to 

lower the rate of unfounded reporting is: (1) to develop improved 

definitions (and guidelines) for what should be reported--and what 

should not be reported, and (2) to implement these definitions through 

public and professional education and through the screening of hotline 

reports. 



Few unfounded reports are made maliciously. Studies suggest that, at 

most, from 5 to 10% are knowingly false. Many involve situations in 

which the person reporting, in a well-intentioned effort to protect a 

child, overreacts to a vague and often misleading possibility that the 

child may be maltreated. Others involve situations of poor child care 

that, though of legitimate concern, simply do not amount to child 

abuse or neglect. In fact, a substantial proportion of unfounded cases 

are referred to other agencies for them to provide needed services for 

the family. 



Thus, we need better definitions of child abuse and neglect 

(incorporated into public awareness and professional education 

materials) that provide real guidance about what should be reported--

or not reported. Generalized statements about children who are 

"abused," or "neglected, " or "in danger" will not do. Unfortunately, 

better definitions will not come easily, for they require resolving a 

series of complex technical and controversial policy issues. 



Let me give just a few examples of areas in which technical work is 

needed. (There are many more.) 



Anonymous reports: Even though only about 15 percent of these reports 

are later deemed founded, all states accept anonymous reports because 

they sometimes identify children in serious danger who would otherwise 

go unprotected. However, this is no reason for investigating anonymous 

reports that can cite no specific reason to suspect maltreatment. One 

agency accepted a report that alleged nothing more than that "there 

are strange noises coming from next door." 



Matrimonial and Custody Cases: Divorce and its acrimony that 

frequently follows is a fertile ground for unfounded reports. Fear of 

criticism--and liability--is leading agencies to accept, 

unquestioningly, reports from estranged spouses. These reports cannot 

be rejected out of hand because a SMALL proportion involve real danger 

to children, as demonstrated by the Mammo case, described below. 

However , a method must be found to screen out the vast majority of 

obviously inappropriate reports. 



"Reasonable" corporal punishment cases: Until very recently, it was 

accurate to say that all states recognized the parental right to 

engage in "reasonable" corporal punishment. But, alas, our concern to 

identify children in "imminent danger," (more on that in a minute) is 

leading many agencies to investigate reports that, on their face, 

amount to nothing more than what courts would recognize as reasonable 

corporal punishment. Many of these parents need help in child rearing, 

of course, but, again, accepting and investigating the case only adds 

another unfounded report to the statistics. 



Behavioral Indicators: There is a tendency to consider the so-called 

"behavioral indicators" of child abuse, and especially of sexual 

abuse, on their own, without physical evidence, without statements of 

the child or others, without anything else, as sufficient reason to 

make a report. Intake workers are accepting reports from teachers and 

others that "Mary is shy in class," or that "Mary is over friendly." 



Behavioral indicators have a valid place in decision-making. They 

provide important clues for potential reporters to pursue, and they 

provide crucial corroborative evidence of maltreatment. But alone they 

are an insufficient basis for a report. There are many other 

explanations for such behavior. It is essential that this point be 

made. Otherwise, every shy or over friendly child in the country will 

be reported. 



Imminent Danger Cases: Agencies cannot wait until a child has suffered 

serious injury before acting. That is why all states allow reports of 

"imminent danger" or "threatened harm." However, the failure to 

articulate the reasons for believing that a child may be in danger of 

future abuse encourages vague reports that agencies feel they cannot 

reject without an investigation. 



Emotional Maltreatment: Once again, vague definitions--one state 

defines emotional neglect to include "the failure to provide adequate 

love"--encourage reports that cannot be rejected, but that are almost 

invariably deemed unfounded after investigation. 



Today, child protection is at a cross roads. Across the nation, child 

protective agencies are being pressed to accept categories of cases 

that, traditionally, have not been considered their responsibility--

and for which their skills do not seem appropriate. In community after 

community, the dearth of family oriented social services is pushing 

CPS away from its traditional role as a highly focused service for 

children in serious danger--and toward an all encompassing form of 

child welfare services. 



In essence, CPS is paying the price for its past successes. People 

know that a report of possible maltreatment will result in action. As 

a result, "child abuse" hotlines are being barraged by reports that, 

at base, really involve adolescent truancy, delinquency, school 

problems, and sexual acting out, not caused by abuse or neglect; 

children who need specialized education or residential placement; 

parent-child conflicts with no indication of abuse or neglect, and 

chronic problems involving property, unemployment, inadequate housing, 

or poor money management. Many of these reports result in the family 

receiving much needed services, and many do not. But either way, 

another unfounded report is added to the statistics. 



In effect, CPS is being used to fill gaps in that should be a 

community wide child welfare system. Some child advocates welcome this 

development, because, they think, it will mean more money for 

desperately needed services. But sooner or later, politicians will 

recognize what is happening and will cut us back. Then, we will be in 

real danger of losing the progress that has been made. Even if this 

strategy were more likely to succeed, we should shun it. For, the CPS 

process is a coercive often traumatic one that should be limited to 

situations in which the danger to the child overrides our traditional 

reluctance to force services on unwilling parents. 



We must make it clear that CPS cannot be all things to all people. 

Here, the major challenge will be to develop definitions that 

distinguish between those child rearing situations that we think are 

lees than optimal--and for which we would like to offer voluntary 

services--from those that pose a clear and present danger of serious 

injury--and for which we are prepared to intervene involuntarily, 

through court action and removal of the child, if that is necessary. 



Better definitions of reportable conditions will go only part way in 

reducing the level of unfounded reports. The new definitions need to 

be enforced. This is the role of intake staff. 



Afraid that a case they reject will later turn into a child fatality, 

most agencies now shirk their central responsibility to screen reports 

before assigning them for investigation. According to the American 

Humane Association, only a little more than half the states allow 

their hotline workers to reject reports, and even those that do 

usually limit screening to cases that are "clearly" inappropriate . 



Imagine a 911 system that cannot distinguish between life threatening 

crimes and littering. That is the condition of child abuse hotlines. 

Many hotlines will accept reports even when the caller can give no 

reason for suspecting that the child's condition is due to the 

parent's behavior. This writer observed one hotline accept a report 

that a seventeen year old boy was found in a drunken stupor. That the 

boy, and perhaps his family, might benefit from counseling is not 

disputable. But that hardly justifies the initiation of an 

involuntary, child protective investigation. 



Child protective agencies used to do much more screening. But that was 

before the recent media hype and before cases like Mammo V. Arizona, 

where the agency was successfully sued for the death of a young child 

after the agency refused to accept a report from the non-custodial 

father. 



Overreacting to cases like Mammo v. Arizona, some child protective 

agencies assume that they should not screen reports at all; that is, 

that they must assign all reports for investigation. This is a 

mistake. The proper lesson to be drawn from Mammo, and cases like it, 

is not that screening reports is disallowed, but, rather, that 

decisions to reject a report must be made with great care. 



Just as child protective agencies have a duty to investigate reports 

made appropriately to them, they also have a duty to screen out 

reports for which an investigation would be clearly unwarranted. They 

should reject reports whose allegations fall outside the agency's 

definitions of "child abuse" and "child neglect," as established by 

state law. (Often, the family has a coping problem more appropriately 

referred to another social service agency.) They should also reject 

reports when the caller can give no credible reason for suspecting 

that the child has been abused or neglected. And, they may have to 

reject a report in which insufficient information is given to identify 

or locate the child (although the information may be kept for later 

use should a subsequent report about the same child be made) . 



The kind of intake decision-making that I am proposing cannot be done 

by clerks, nor by untrained caseworkers. The agency's best workers 

should be assigned to intake--where they can have the greatest impact. 

In fact, I would suggest that we make assignment to intake a 

promotion, in which we place our most experienced and qualified staff. 



Doing something  about the problem of unfounded reports (and it seems 

to be still growing)  requires telling the American people that 

current reporting statistics are badly inflated by unfounded reports. 

Up to now, most  child welfare officials--in federal, state, and local 

agencies--have lacked the courage to do so, because they fear that 

such honesty will discredit their efforts and lead to budget cuts. 



Therefore, the necessary first step in reducing harmfully high rates 

of unfounded reporting of child abuse must be a general lowering of 

child abuse rhetoric. A more responsible use of statistics would be a 

good start. Child maltreatment is a major social problem. Each year, 

about 1,000 children die in circumstances suggestive of child 

maltreatment. But its extent and severity must be kept in perspective. 





We regularly hear that there are upwards of a million maltreated 

children (including those  that are not reported). This is a 

reasonably accurate estimate, but the word "maltreatment" encompasses 

much more that the brutally battered, sexually abused, or starved and 

sickly children that come to mind when we think of child abuse. In 

1979 and 1980, the federal government conducted a National Study of 

the Incidence and Severity of Child Abuse and Neglect. According to 

this Congressionally mandated study, which collected data for twelve 

months from a representative sample of twenty-six counties in ten 

states, only about 30 percent of all "maltreated" children are 

physically abused, and only about 10 percent of these children (3 

percent of the total) suffer an injury severe enough to require 

professional care. Thus, 90 percent of the cases labelled "physical 

abuse" are really situations of excessive or unreasonable corporal 

punishment which, although a matter of legitimate government concern, 

are unlikely to escalate into a serious assault against the child. 

(Other data from the Incidence Study indicate that fewer than one in 

five of these cases presages anything resembling child abuse or 

neglect, let alone serious injury to the child.) 



Sexual Abuse makes up about 7 percent of the total. This is probably a 

low figure: major efforts are being made to increase the reporting of 

suspected child sexual abuse. 



Physical neglect makes up about 17 percent of all cases. The three 

largest categories are: failure to provide needed medical care (9 

percent); abandonment and other refusals of custody (4 percent); and 

failure to provide food, clothing and hygiene (3 percent). Physical 

neglect can be just as harmful as physical abuse. More children die of 

physical neglect than from physical abuse. But, again, the number of 

cases where serious physical injury has occurred is low, perhaps as 

low as 4 percent of neglect cases. 1 



The remainder of these cases, about half, 2  are forms of educational 

neglect and emotional maltreatment. Educational neglect, at 27 

percent, is the single largest category of cases. Emotional abuse, 

mainly "habitual scapegoating, belittling and rejecting behavior," 

accounts for about 20 percent of the total. And various forms of 

emotional neglect, defined as "inadequate nurturance" and "permitted 

maladaptive behavior" are 9 percent of the total. While some forms of 

emotional maltreatment are deeply damaging to children, most cases do 

not create the need for aggressive intervention as do cases of serious 

physical abuse or neglect. 



Almost 85 percent of all cases of "child maltreatment," then, involve 

excessive corporal punishment, minor physical neglect, educational 

neglect, or emotional maltreatment. These are really forms of 

emotional or developmental harm to children that pose no real physical 

danger. Moreover, the overwhelming bulk of these cases, which are most 

accurately considered forms of "social deprivation," involve poor and 

minority families. Compared to the general population, families 

reported for maltreatment are four times more likely to be on public 

assistance 3 and almost twice as likely to be black. 4 . 



Furthermore, maltreating parents tend to be the "poorest of the poor." 

Most research confirms one study's finding that, as between 

maltreating and non-maltreating families, the former "lived under 

poorer material circumstances, had more socially and materially 

deprived childhoods, were more isolated from friends and relatives, 

and had more children." 5  About 30 percent of abused children live in 

single parent households and are on public assistance; the comparable 

figure for neglected children is about 45 percent. 6 Protecting these 

children means lifting their parents from the grinding poverty within 

which they live. 



Recognizing these realities would go a long way toward reducing the 

current hysteria about child abuse. It would also make people less 

likely to believe that every bruised child is an abused child. 



Few unfounded reports are made maliciously. Most involve an honest 

desire to protect children coupled with confusion about when reports 

should be made. Hence, much can be done to reduce the number of 

unfounded reports without discouraging reports of children in real 

danger. Let me summarize the points I have tried to make in this 

statement. 



First, reporting laws and associated educational materials and 

programs must be improved to provide practical guidance about what 

should be reported--and what should not be reported. They should call 

for reporting only when there is credible evidence that the parents 

have already engaged in seriously harmful behavior toward their 

children or that, because of severe mental disability or drug or 

alcohol addiction, they are incapable of providing adequate care. The 

parent's behavior need not have already seriously injured the child 

for it to be considered seriously harmful. A report should be required 

if the parent's behavior was capable of seriously injuring the child. 

The criminal law would call such behavior an "attempt" or "reckless 

endangerment . " While such terms are not applicable to child 

protection (because they imply a higher degree of intent than is 

necessary and because they seem to exclude situations of child 

neglect) , the criminal law's fundamental reliance on past wrongful 

conduct as the basis for state intervention has equal validity for 

child protection intervention. 



Second, the liability provisions of state reporting laws should also 

be modified. Most reporting laws penalize the negligent failure to 

report while granting immunity for incorrect, but good faith, reports. 

This combination of provisions encourages the overreporting of 

questionable situations. Fearful of being sued for not reporting, some 

professionals play it safe and report whenever they think there is the 

slightest chance that they will subsequently be sued for not doing so. 

To reduce this incentive for overreporting, six states already limit 

civil liability to "knowing" or "willful" failures to report. All 

states should do so. 



Third, child abuse hotlines should fulfill their responsibility to 

screen reports for initial sufficiency. They should reject reports 

whose allegations fall outside the agency's definitions of "child 

abuse" and "child neglect," as established by state law. They should 

also reject reports when the caller can give no credible reason for 

suspecting that the child has been abused or neglected or when its 

unfounded or malicious nature is apparent. 



Fourth, the Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act should be 

amended to encourage states to better protect the rights of parents 

accused of abusing and neglecting their children. Since the passage of 

the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act in 1974, it has mandated 

states to seek the reporting of ever greater numbers of abused 

children--without regard to the validity or appropriateness of 

reports. While this one dimensional approach may have been justified 

ten years ago when few reports were made, these requirements have 

remained essentially unchanged in the face of ever increasing numbers 

of unfounded reports. 



On the other hand, I would not recommend major changes in the Act. 

Basically, it has served us well. And this is not the time for major 

change. In this, as in all areas, a series of small, carefully 

considered steps is more likely to lead us in the right direction than 

is one long leap. 



Therefore, I would recommend only two changes in the Act. First, 

states should be required to demonstrate that they are making efforts 

to encourage more accurate reporting. This would include: 



(1) the preparation and dissemination of educational.and training 

materials that describe what should not be reported--as well as what 

should be reported, and 



(2) the adoption of better screening policies and procedures for 

hotline. 



Second, states should be required to demonstrate that they are making 

efforts to prevent children from being removed from their homes 

without an appropriate investigation--unless they appear to be in 

imminent danger. Such a requirement would merely apply to child 

protective decision-making the IV-E requirements of reasonable or 

"diligent" efforts to return children who have been placed in foster 

care. 



Conclusion:



To continue to ignore the present harmfully high level of unfounded 

reports is to court disaster. In the short run, it may be possible to 

avoid admitting that the reporting system has serious shortcomings. In 

the long rum, though, already severe problems will worsen--and become 

more visible to outsiders. As more people realize that hundreds of 

thousands of innocent people are having their reputations tarnished 

and their privacy invaded while tens of thousands of endangered 

children are going unprotected, continued support for child protective 

efforts will surely erode. 



Child maltreatment is a serious national problem. It need not be 

exaggerated in order to gain public and political support.





Thank you for giving me this opportunity to speak to you. 





NOTES



1 American Association for Protecting Children, Highlights of Official. 

Child Neglect and Abuse Reporting: 1984, p.16, Table 6 (1986). 



2 The total comes to 110 percent because there is a slight overlap 

among categories of cases. 



3 American Humane Association, Trends In Child Abuse and Neglect:

A National Perspective, p.24, Table IV-3 (1984). 



4 Trends In child Abuse and Neglect: A National Perspective, supra 

n.3, p.97, Table A-IV-7. 



5 Horowitz & Wolock, "Maternal Deprivation, Child Maltreatment, And 

Agency Interventions Among Poor Families," in L. Pelton, ed., The 

Social Context of Child Abuse and Neglect, pp.137, 138, 161 (1981). 



6 Trends In Child Abuse and Neglect: A National Perspective, supra 

n.3, at p.97, Table A-IV-7.