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 2015, the number of reports of suspected maltreatment to the Vermont Department for Children and Families (DCF) rose yet again -- reaching over 20,000 calls to DCF's Child Protection Line. We know that many situations go unreported.*
- The VT Department for Children and Families (DCF) receives a report of suspected child abuse and neglect about once every 27 minutes.
- Substance abuse was a factor in 28% of the reports received; financial stress showed up in 17% of reports, domestic violence in 13%, and mental health in 11%.
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."**
We cannot afford to let a single child experience this trauma.