Outcome: Children and Youth are Physically Safe

Indicator: Abuse and Neglect Rate per 1000

Significance of this indicator:

Abuse and neglect can have a variety of outcomes for the child and family.  According to “A Coordinated Response to Child Abuse and Neglect: The Foundation for Practice,” on the Child Welfare Information Gateway, the effect of abuse and neglect can be profound and endure long after the incidents of abuse or neglect occur. Abuse and neglect can result in everything from minor physical injuries, low self-esteem, attention disorders, poor peer relations, severe brain damage, extremely violent behavior, and death.  The effects can appear in childhood, adolescence, or adulthood, and may impact various aspects of an individual's development (e.g., physical, cognitive, psychological, and behavioral).

How we are doing on this indicator:

According to the data provided, Pueblo has consistently had a lower rate of abuse and neglect than the state of Colorado as a whole.  Pueblo’s abuse and neglect numbers decreased by 55% during the 5 year period from 2007 to 2011.  In 2007, the difference in abuse/neglect rates between Pueblo and Colorado was .6 (a 6% difference), and by 2011 the difference was 4.3 (a 52% difference).

The rate of abuse and neglect cases reported in Pueblo has declined consistently from 8.9 of 1,000 children in 2007 to less than half that – 4.0 of 1,000 children – in 2011.  By contract, the statewide rate has remained fairly constant during that time.  The result is that while the Pueblo rate exceeded the state rate slightly in 2007, it was less than half the state rate in 2011.

What the Data Tell Us

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Definition:  Incidence of maltreatment of children younger than 18 (including physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse and/or neglect). The value is the number of unique substantiated cases per 1,000 children.

Data Source:  Division of Child Welfare Services, Colorado Department of Human Services.  Provided by Colorado Children’s Campaign, Kids Count Data Center.

Data Considerations: It is unclear to what extent the substantial 5-year decrease reflects improved conditions for Pueblo youth, compared to a difference in reporting or record-keeping.