Baltimore County is experiencing a rising trend line for the rate of unduplicated children with indicated*/unsubstantiated* child abuse/neglect findings over the past 4 years. The County rate from 2015 through 2018 ranged from a low of 5.4 in 2015 to a high of 6.4 in 2017. The 2018 rate was 5.7 and represents 1,322 indicated and unsubstantiated findings for completed Child Protective Service investigations.
*Indicated Cases of Maltreatment: Child Protective Services investigation of a report of child maltreatment where the finding concludes that there is credible evidence, which has not been satisfactorily refuted, that child abuse did occur.
*Unsubstantiated Cases of Maltreatment: Child Protective Services investigation of a report of child maltreatment where the finding concludes that there is an insufficient amount of evidence to support a finding of “Indicated” or “Ruled Out*.”
*Ruled Out Cases of Maltreatment: Child Protective Services investigation of a report of child maltreatment where the finding concludes that child abuse did not occur.
The term “intergenerational transmission of child abuse and neglect” refers to the theory that parents who were abused as children have a greater tendency to abuse their own children. For a variety of reasons related to research methodology, the evidence supporting the theory of an intergenerational transfer of child abuse and neglect remains a work in progress. However, several strong studies have identified factors supporting intergenerational patterns of maltreatment including maternal substance use, depression, anxiety, and experiences of victimization, as well as parents’ experience of intimate partner violence and history of mental illness (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Child Welfare Information Gateway, 2016). All of these factors have been identified as, or associated with, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) is the term given to describe traumatic experiences that occur to children and youth under the age of 18. These traumatic experiences include emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional neglect, physical neglect, mother treated violently, household substance abuse, household mental illness, parental separation or divorce, and incarcerated household member.
An overarching Goal of the Healthy Families program is to reduce the incidence of child maltreatment in Baltimore County as well as the out-of-home placements occurring as a result of child maltreatment. The program Objective to attain this goal is to cultivate and strengthen nurturing parent-child relationships.