Child abuse and neglect fatalities
In 2020, a nationally estimated 1,750 children died as a result of child abuse and neglect. The majority of the deaths (68%) occurred in children younger than 3 years old, and half of the deaths (46%) occurred in children younger than 1 year old. Because we do not have reliable data about the number of deaths from child maltreatment, these numbers are likely even higher.
The death of a child is all the more tragic when it could have been prevented. An essential shift is needed to adopt practices and approaches to child safety that are predicated on providing community-level supports to prevent crises before they occur. Child protection agencies play a critical role in the prevention of child abuse and neglect fatalities, but they cannot work alone. They must join together with other key partners that touch the lives of children and families and work collectively on efforts that aim to end child abuse and neglect fatalities.