Thursday, May 10, 2012

Cost Study Calls for Continued Focus on Innovative Programming Based on Estimates that Child Abuse and Neglect Costs Nation $80 Billion Per Year

Updated study underwritten by Macy’s, Inc. estimates $33 Billion in Direct Costs and $47 Billion in Indirect Costs as a result of child abuse and neglect


May 10, 2012, CHICAGO, IL – An economic impact analysis released today - here - estimates the costs of child abuse and neglect to taxpayers will be over $80 billion in 2012. Estimated Annual Cost of Child Abuse and Neglect - here - is the third in a series of economic impact studies by Prevent Child Abuse America updating reports issued in 2001 and 2007. The latest report is authored by Dr. Richard Gelles of the University of Pennsylvania, and Dr. Staci Perlman from Kutztown University. Dr. Gelles is an internationally known expert in domestic violence and child welfare.
“The costs and the adverse outcomes associated with not preventing child abuse and neglect remain unacceptable for the children and families of this country,” said James M. Hmurovich, President & CEO, Prevent Child Abuse America. “Further, while we should recognize the on-going successes of new therapeutic interventions to help children who have been victimized, the trauma of the maltreatment can never be erased and accounts for the host of adverse short- and long-term outcomes of child abuse and neglect, including chronic health problems, mental health issues, developmental delays, poor educational outcomes, and future involvement with the juvenile and criminal justice systems.”
In calculating the total costs for this report, a number of factors are assessed, both in terms of direct costs which includes hospitalization, mental health costs, costs incurred by the child welfare system, and law enforcement, which total $33 billion; and indirect costs which includes special education, early intervention, adult homelessness, mental health and health care, juvenile and adult criminal justice costs, lost work productivity, which total nearly $47 billion. Additionally, refinements were made to the report in response to critiques of the 2007 report, and two new cost categories were added based on research on the consequences of maltreatment: early intervention and homelessness.
“We are honored to support Prevent Child Abuse America on this effort," said Jim Sluzewski, senior vice president of corporate communications for Macy's, Inc. "Macy's believes in supporting organizations such as Prevent Child Abuse America that are working to make our communities better places to work and live."

“The fact is,” added Hmurovich, “we still have a lot of work to do to ensure the healthy development of all children. Evidence-based programming such as home visiting, and sexual abuse and shaken baby syndrome prevention show that abuse and neglect can be prevented, but it takes all of us to make children a priority to accomplish this. We need to prioritize children not only in our policies and budgets, but in our everyday actions. Wouldn’t it make sense to develop a strategy that focuses on a national commitment to actually prevent child abuse and neglect before it ever occurred? If we could decrease these annual costs by 10% in the next 5 years, think of the great things we could do for children and their families. $80 billion would pay for proven prevention programs that support 2 million high risk families. The college education for 1 million students. Or, the salaries for 2 million teachers. Investments which ultimately benefit not just families, but society as a whole.”



About Prevent Child Abuse America
Prevent Child Abuse America, founded in 1972 in Chicago, works to ensure the healthy development of children nationwide. The organization promotes that vision through a network of chapters in 49 states and over 400 Healthy Families America, home visitation sites in 37 states, the Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and Canada. A major organizational focus is to advocate for the existence of a national policy framework and strategy for children and families while promoting evidence-based practices that prevent abuse and neglect from ever occurring. To learn more about what we’re doing to prevent child abuse and neglect and how you can help, please visit our websites, here and here.

About Macy's, Inc. 
Macy's, Inc. is one of the nation's premier retailers, operating about 840 department stores in 46 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico under the names Macy's and Bloomingdale's, as well as the and websites. Collectively, Macy's, Inc. and the Macy's Foundation donated more than $26 million in fiscal 2011 to nonprofit organizations nationwide.

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