About Child Abuse & Neglect
We all want to believe that here in Vermont, all children are safe and healthy and well cared for.
Sadly, this is not the case.
In our neighborhoods, in our schools – or our children’s or grandchildren’s schools – there are:
- children who are scared because home is not a safe place for them
- children who are hungry because they don’t have enough to eat
- children who are exhausted because they can’t sleep at night because there is violence in their home
- children whose parents can’t safely care for them because they are struggling with substance abuse, or mental health, or incarceration, or domestic violence, poverty, or maybe they need help in learning how to parent.
Abuse and neglect can happen at any income level, and affect children and teens at any age.
What do the statistics show?
- In 2018, 20,779 reports of suspected maltreatment were made to the Vermont Department for Children and Families (DCF) Child Protection Line.
- VT DCF receives a report of suspected child abuse and neglect about once every 25 minutes, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We know that many situations go unreported.
- VT DCF Family Services opened 5,326 child safety interventions: 3,173 investigations and 2,153 assessments. A record 1,281 cases were opened for services. During the last quarter of 2018, there were a total of 1,283 children/youth in state custody, and 743 in conditional custody in the care of a parent, relative, or other caregiver.
The potential toll is "serious and long-lasting impact on children—affecting their development, ability to learn, and future. Children who have been abused and neglected are more likely than other children to experience suicide, depression, poverty, illness, incarceration, and unwanted pregnancy."
- Dave Yacovone, Former DCF Commissioner
We cannot afford to let a single child experience this trauma.