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KWIC Indicator Narrative

Child Abuse and Maltreatment - Children and Youth in Indicated Reports of Child Abuse and Maltreatment

Data Provider: NYS Office of Children and Family Services


Related Indicators:

  • Child Abuse/Maltreatment-Children in Indicated Reports of Abuse/Maltreatment [view data]

Life Area:



Child abuse and maltreatment represent an impairment or imminent danger of impairment of a child's physical, mental or emotional condition due to the failure of a parent, guardian or other person legally responsible for the child to exercise a minimum degree of care toward the child. This can involve the failure to provide a minimum degree of care regarding a child's basic needs, such as food, clothing, shelter, medical care, education, or proper supervision or guardianship. It can also involve the parent or other legally responsible person's use of excessive corporal punishment, the abuse or misuse of drugs or alcohol, and abandonment of a child (U.S. DHHS, 2006).

Children and youth in indicated reports of child abuse and maltreatment is calculated as the number of unique children in reports of child abuse or neglect received in the year in which at least one allegation was substantiated divided by the number of children age 0 - 17 in the county's population. The result is multiplied by 1,000.

Beginning in late 2008, a new approach to responding to CPS reports was implemented in several counties. This alternative approach called the Family assessment Response (FAR) is considered a CPS response even though no determination is made as to whether or not there is some credible evidence of maltreatment. Beginning in 2009, FAR data is being reported in KWIC. In calculating indication rates for districts participating in FAR, their total number of reports is defined as the total number of reports minus those reports assigned to the FAR.


Children may suffer from child abuse and maltreatment regardless of their socioeconomic status, race or ethnic backgrounds. There are short- and long-term negative consequences related to child abuse and maltreatment, including adverse health, educational attainment and social and behavioral development. As noted by the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child (2005), persistent stress resulting from child maltreatment for young children can disrupt early brain development and impair development of the nervous and immune response systems. It is, however, difficult to distinguish the extent to which these effects are caused by the child's experience with abuse and neglect, the disruptions that often accompany service interventions (such as multiple residential placements), or the presence or absence of other factors in the child's developmental experiences (Chalk, Gibbons & Scarupa, 2002).


The number of children reflects unique children. The unique number, within New York City or Rest of State, will count a child only once during a year even if that child has more than one indicated abuse or maltreatment.

New York City counts include investigations conducted by Administration for Children's Services Borough Field Offices and the Office of Special Investigations.


Prior to January 1, 2022, the level of evidence required in NYS to substantiate an allegation of child abuse or maltreatment was “some credible evidence”.  Beginning on January 1, 2022, the level of evidence required was raised to “a fair preponderance of the evidence” standard. 

The rate of child abuse and maltreatment in New York State is 12.4 per 1,000 children aged 0 to 17 years in 2022.  From 2015 to 2022, the overall rate decreased in NYC (from 11.2 to 10.7 per 1,000 children, aged 0 to 17 years).  The Rest of State also followed the trending downward pattern (15.0 to 13.7 per 1,000 children, aged 0 to 17 years).  In 2015, the number of unique children in indicated reports of child abuse and maltreatment was 63,290. In 2022, the number of unique children and youth in indicated reports of child abuse and maltreatment was down to 51,032.


Chalk, R., Gibbons, A. & Scarupa, H.J. (2002). The multiple dimensions of child abuse and neglect: New insights into an old problem. Child Trends Research Brief.Washington, DC: Child Trends.

National Scientific Council on the Developing Child. (2005). "Excessive stress disrupts the architecture of the developing brain." Working Paper no. 3. Waltham, MA: National Scientific Council on the Developing Child.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families. 2006. 2006 Child Abuse Prevention Community Resource Packet, Section 1012(f) of the Family Court Act. Washington, DC: National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information.

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