Child abuse cost Alabama $ 3.7 billion in 2018
A report released Tuesday shows that child abuse and neglect cost Alabama an estimated $ 3.7 billion in 2018, an increase of $ 1.5 billion from 2015.
Alabama Department for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect study, conducted by the College of Human Environmental Sciences at the University of Alabama and the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Alabama, updates a 2015 study, showing the impact of child abuse not only affects life it directly affects, but the state budget.
“No one can dispute the devastating toll of child abuse on the physical and emotional health of children and families in Alabama. By documenting its substantial financial impact on our state, this report highlights the scale of the problem and how preventing child abuse and neglect should be a priority for all of us, ” said Stuart Usdan , Dean of the University. of Alabama College of Human Environmental Sciences, in a statement.
More than 10,000 children in Alabama are victims of child abuse and neglect each year, and in 2018, 43 children died as a result of abuse and neglect, a 43% increase from 2013, the report says.
“The cost of child abuse in Alabama is staggering. This report reinforces the position that we must do more to prevent child abuse and neglect before it happens, ”said Sallye Longshore, director of the Department of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention, in a statement.
The report notes that the cost of $ 3.7 billion includes $ 281 million for the child welfare system, $ 4 million for adult homelessness, $ 21 million for special education and 26 million dollars for juvenile delinquency.
“This study indicates that the state of Alabama needs to invest more in preventing child abuse because prevention will lower its cost to the state economy and contribute to economic growth by increasing the workforce. work and its productivity. About 73 percent of the $ 3.7 billion cost is due to lost productivity caused by child abuse, ”said Samuel Addy, associate dean for research and outreach at the University of Alabama Culverhouse College of Business.
The report notes that the estimated cost is conservative and includes only the costs associated with the first child abuse, and does not include the cost to families and communities.