Child Maltreatment: Early Childhood

What is Child Maltreatment?

Child maltreatment is abuse or neglect of a child.

Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS), Child Welfare Division works in support of families by providing services to ensure the safety of children and young adults. When a report of suspected abuse or neglect is received by the Oregon Child Abuse Hotline, a screening decision is made to determine whether the report meets the criteria for assigning a Child Protective Services (CPS) assessment. These screening decisions are made after considering known factors, family history, the alleged safety risk and statutory requirements. Approximately 54% of reports are assigned for CPS assessment.

Child abuse includes “neglect” and “threat of harm,” the largest two categories of abuse. In Oregon, together these categories made up over 82% of all incidents of abuse in FFY 2019. Other types of abuse include physical abuse, sexual abuse, and mental injury.

To address substantiated cases of abuse, child welfare services include in-home case management and safety plans, foster care, or adoption if necessary. The goals of these services are to develop and sustain an environment that allows a child to safely remain in their home. These services may include parent training and mentoring, childcare assistance, service navigators, and assistance with housing, food, mental health treatment, substance use treatment, transportation, employment related services. When a child’s home environment cannot be managed for their safety, the child enters foster care.

Why is Child Maltreatment important?

In Oregon the number of victims of child abuse increased by nearly 23% between 2014 and 2019. During this timeframe, Oregon’s rate of child victims per 1,000 children was higher than the national average, at 14.4 per 1,000 in 2018 compared to a national average of 9.2 per 1,000 in 2018.

In federal fiscal year (FFY) 2019, children under the age of 5 made up nearly 42% of all Oregon’s substantiated victims, with over 10% of those under the age of 1. Of the victims of child abuse for FFY 2019, children identified as African American and American Indian or Alaska Native are over-represented compared with the general population of Oregon’s children.

Family members make up the vast majority, 93%, of child abuse perpetrators. Multiple and co-occurring stress factors can be present in families with a substantiated child abuse case. The most common stress factors are caregiver alcohol or drug use, domestic violence, and caregiver involvement with law enforcement.

Children who are abused can suffer both physical and emotional/psychological injuries, which can persist far beyond the incident of abuse. Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), which includes child abuse, can have a lasting and serious impact on an individual’s long-term health, well-being, and opportunities. ACEs can negatively impact brain development, the ability to form and maintain healthy relationships, and educational and employment opportunities. Additionally, they can increase the risk of suicide and chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease.

Resources

To learn more about foster care, please visit the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS):

Please remember the following
  • OCID only includes children born in Oregon since 2001; ideally, the dataset will be expanded over time to represent all of the children in Oregon.
  • The Dashboard shows descriptive data, not causal relationships.
  • At this time, OCID is not able to filter the foster care measure by race and ethnicity; OCID is working to develop an overarching methodology to allow for an in depth view into racial and ethnic disparities across all data in OCID.
  • To protect the identities of individuals, OCID only shows results for populations; where populations are too small and could reveal identifiable information, OCID displays the result as “Suppressed.”

For more information about the dataset, please visit our Technical Dictionary.

Ready to explore the data?

The indicator display below provides two views:

  • A dashboard view for a structured way to look at the indicator by selecting a geography and then 1-2 other attributes; and,
  • A “sandbox” view for freely exploring the various attributes.

Please visit the About OCID and Explore OCID Population pages before exploring the data. For details on the indicator, attributes, data sources, and limitations, please visit the Technical Dictionary.

 

What explains any trends and disparities?

We don’t know yet. The Dashboard shows descriptive data, not causal relationships.  In depth analyses are needed to understand why disparities or trends occur.

OCID’s Governance Committee is working to set priorities for the 2020 analyses, which will examine the dynamics behind selected Dashboard indicators. Sign up below to receive OCID updates.

Suggested citation: Center for Evidence-based Policy, Oregon Health & Science University. Child maltreatment: early childhood dashboard. Oregon Child Integrated Dataset (OCID) website. https://www.ocid-cebp.org/outcome/child-maltreatment-early-childhood/ Published June 2, 2020.


The Center for Evidence-based Policy partners with the Center for Health Systems Effectiveness, also at Oregon Health & Science University, on dashboard analytics.