Child fatality due to maltreatment is defined as the death of a child as a result of abuse or neglect, because either (a) an injury resulting from the abuse or neglect of a child was the cause of the death, or (b) abuse and/or neglect were contributing factors to the cause of death. Data on child fatalities are collected from all states; some state offices of child protective services work closely with health departments or the coroner’s office, whereas others rely more on their own records, including deaths reported to them by law enforcement. Only those fatalities that were known to CPS and reported in the Child File are included in these analyses.
These are case-level data reported in the Child File and, therefore, are a subset of all child fatalities.
Fatalities of an unknown age, including unborn children, are excluded.
Child maltreatment death rates are calculated using the July 1 estimates of the resident population from the Vintage matching the data year for the postcensal period based on the prior decennial census. For example, July 1, 2008 resident population estimates from Vintage 2008 are used as the denominator for 2008 rates. Rates for 2010 are also calculated using the July 1 estimates.
The number of reporting states varies from year to year. 2008: 42 states excluding AK, CA, ME, MA, NH, NC, ND, OR, WA. 2009: 43 states excluding AK, CA, ME, MA, NC, ND, OR, WA. 2010: 43 states excluding AK, CA, ME, MA, NC, NH, OR, WA. 2011: 44 states excluding AK, CA, ME, MA, NC, OR, WA. 2012: 43 states excluding AK, CA, ID, ME, MA, NC, OR, WA
Changes Between HP2010 and HP2020
This objective differs from Healthy People 2010 objective 15-33b in that the methodology for counting cases was revised. Healthy People 2010 data were based on both case level (Child File) and aggregated data (SDC and Agency files) and, therefore, include duplicate counts of victims while Healthy People 2020 data are based on case level data (Child File) only, allowing for unique counts of victims. At baseline 42 states provided case level data. Unlike Healthy People 2010 data, Healthy People 2020 data exclude victims with an unknown age, including unborn children.