Posted on Feb 14th 2023
The Utah Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS) provides thorough reports each year on the prevalence of child abuse and neglect. Becoming aware and informed on these statistics is the first step towards successfully promoting child safety and offering community-based services to the most vulnerable populations.
In 2022 alone, DCFS received 38,494 reports of child abuse and neglect, with 22,580 of these being new cases.
Majority of the reports were from law enforcement (22.1%), schools (18.3%), health services (18.2%), and family members (17.9%). This demonstrates the strong need for the entire community to increase their awareness of potential warning signs, different types of abuse, and the most at-risk populations.
In Utah, there were 9,695 children confirmed as victims of abuse and neglect in 2022. Abuse occurs across all age groups, with the majority of confirmed child victims being 12 to 17 years of age (36.1%), closely followed by 6-11 year olds (29.8%) and 1-5 year olds (25.7%).
There are different types and categories of abuse, including sexual, physical, emotional, non-supervision, medical neglect, and many more. In 2022, the top confirmed allegations were domestic violence-related child abuse (22%) and child endangerment (21%), with majority of these committed by the parent of the child.
Parents are not the only perpetrators of child abuse. Sexual abuse accounted for 16% of the confirmed reported cases, with most of the allegations against other relatives and non-related individuals.
When children are unable to safely remain in their own homes, foster care acts as a temporary intervention. Approximately 2 of every 1,000 children will enter foster care in Utah, while the national average is only 5 of every 1,000 children.
With the increasing numbers of reported child abuse cases across the United States, there is a need to continue to work towards providing a safe community for children everywhere. The Children’s Justice Center (CJC) program is a private public partnership that is supported by the Friends nonprofit which exists to fundraise and write grants to get funding from from all levels to provide care and healing for children impacted by child abuse in Utah.
The CJC’s approach to providing a home-like facility for the children is of the utmost importance, especially with the intent to reduce the potential secondary trauma brought on by the criminal justice system and child protection services. With this, the goal of the CJC program is to provide as much support as possible to government agencies and to strengthen the community as a whole.
By partnering with the Friends of the CJC, you are helping offer the best possible care to improve the lives of children who have been victims of abuse. With your support, the Friends provide the community with resources and tools to better understand at-risk populations and prevalence of child abuse in our communities.
It is clear by the 2022 child abuse statistics that improvements and additional efforts are needed for the children of Utah. Help us make a difference by donating today.