Study estimates child abuse and neglect will cost Wisconsin $1.2 million in 2012

May 18, 2013
MILWAUKEE - A recently released economic impact analysis estimates the costs of child abuse and neglect to Wisconsin taxpayers will be more than $1.2 million in 2012. Data is based on a study by Prevent Child Abuse America.

"Child abuse affects us all. By investing in child abuse prevention, we can reduce the number of abused children, and the financial cost to our state," said Jennifer Hammel, director, Children's Hospital of Wisconsin's Child Abuse Prevention Fund. "Healthy families mean healthy children and thriving communities. Child abuse can cause long-term physical and mental health problems for children. We need to raise healthy, nurtured children who grow into healthy, productive adults. Together, we can prevent the abuse and neglect of all Wisconsin's children."

Costs are based on direct and indirect factors such as hospitalization, mental health services, costs incurred by the child welfare system and law enforcement, special education, early intervention and homelessness.

"This report clearly shows that the costs of treating children who have experienced abuse or neglect are astronomical. Yet we know that it is more cost effective to prevent abuse or neglect from occurring in the first place," said Mary Anne Snyder, executive director, Wisconsin Children's Trust Fund. "Despite this research, we continue to invest less than 1% of our state's annual budget on prevention programs and services. We need to reinvest our resources into the prevention of child abuse and neglect. It's good for children and families, and it's good for our economy."

About Prevent Child Abuse Wisconsin
Prevent Child Abuse Wisconsin is a program of Children's Service Society of Wisconsin. The program works closely with the Child Abuse Prevention Fund, which is part of Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, to unify child abuse prevention efforts in Wisconsin.

The mission of Prevent Child Abuse Wisconsin is to:
- Build community resources.
- Provide training and public awareness.
- Carry out advocacy activities in order to strengthen child abuse prevention efforts in Wisconsin.
Our work focuses on primary prevention with the goal of stopping child abuse and neglect before it occurs.

About Children's Service Society of Wisconsin
Children's Service Society is the state's largest private, not-for-profit provider of child welfare services. From offices and family resource centers throughout the state, Children's Service Society offers activities and programs in four core service areas: out of-home care; child and family counseling; public child welfare; and prevention services. Children's Service Society is a member of Children's Hospital of Wisconsin. The health system is able to fulfill its mission thanks in part to philanthropic gifts and support from members of the community.