Cost-of-injury analysis (also referred to as cost-of-illness or cost-of-failure analysis) attempts to estimate the economic impact of child abuse and neglect on society (or on a local community). In other words, how much does it cost when a community fails to prevent child abuse and neglect?
These analyses frequently estimate both direct and indirect costs associated with child maltreatment. Direct costs include those associated with addressing the immediate needs of maltreated children. They might include:
- Hospitalization for severe injuries resulting from abuse and neglect
- Medical treatment (such as physician visits, emergency department visits, outpatient clinics, dental visits, physical therapy, etc.) for health problems resulting from abuse and neglect
- Mental health treatment for issues resulting from abuse and neglect
- Child welfare services to intervene in existing cases of child abuse and neglect
- Law enforcement and judicial system costs associated with intervention
Indirect costs include those associated with the long-term and secondary effects of maltreatment, as well as productivity losses for the abused child (missing school) or parent/caretaker (needing to attend criminal hearings or stay home with an injured child). Examples of indirect costs include:
- Special education costs
- Treatment for chronic physical and mental health problems as a result of child abuse and neglect
- Costs of increased juvenile delinquency and adult criminality
- Lost productivity to society (due to decreased earning potential, unemployment, or premature death)
- Costs associated with treatment of increased substance abuse
- Costs associated with interventions for domestic violence resulting from child maltreatment
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Response
University of Albany & Prevent Child Abuse America
Seeks to connect research data and its potential for real-world application to prevent adverse childhood experiences and their consequences through policy and program leadership, community development, and direct practice.
The Costs and Economic Impact of Violence Against Children
Pereznieto, Montes, Langston, & Routier (2014)
ChildFund AllianceLooks at the global cost of physical, psychological, and sexual violence against children. It also discusses levels of government spending for prevention and response and offers cost-effective solutions.
The Economics of Child Abuse (PDF - 8,408 KB)
Safe & Sound (2019)
Reports on the extent of the economic cost of child abuse in San Francisco and risk factors that contribute to it. This report aims to shed light on the economic burden child abuse has on communities and its implications.