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Financial Costs and the Case for Prevention

In addition to the price paid by its victims, child abuse and neglect exacts a very high price from society. The State of Texas is budgeted to spend $1.25 Billion in FY14 for Child Protective Services on the costs of abuse after the fact. Of that amount, just 3.5% is earmarked for child abuse prevention efforts.

Case for Prevention

  • For the FY12, child abuse has been estimated to cost the United States approximately $80 billion. That is $220 million every day.
  • With a conservative estimated cost (direct) of $34,815 per victimized child and 66,398 confirmed cases in the state of Texas for 2013 (258,996 alleged victims), our state is spending over $2.30 billion paying the price of child abuse in direct costs alone.
  • The estimated direct and indirect cost of abuse/neglect for one individual over a lifetime is $210,012. The estimated lifetime costs per child fatality due to abuse and neglect is $1.2 million (CDC, 2012).

The Cost/Benefit of prevention programs is clear:

  • In contrast to the cost of $35,000 per abused/neglected child, as of July 2012, a proven prevention program, Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) has an estimated cost of $4,500 per family/year to prevent child abuse and neglect.
  • Other home visitation programs such as Parents as Teachers, Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngers, Healthy Families, Incredible Years, AVANCE, Exchange Parent Aide, as well as others have estimated costs of $1,400-$4,000 per family/year depending on the program.
  • According to the RAND Corporation and the Washington State Institute for Public Policy, proven home visitation programs have estimated returns of $1.18 all the way up to $14.65 for every dollar invested in the program.

Our Mission

Our mission is to protect Texas children from the trauma of abuse and neglect and empower families to thrive through education, research, and advocacy. Our vision is that all children are safe, nurtured, and resilient. Learn more about the work we do. You can help protect Texas children from abuse & neglect. Find out how you can help.

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