FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: The Cost of Child Maltreatment to the Alabama Economy
April 20, 2021
Contact: Emily Marsh, Public Affairs Manager
Department of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention/The Children’s Trust Fund
334-324-3203 | firstname.lastname@example.org
A study conducted by The University of Alabama College of Human Environmental Sciences and The University of Alabama Center for Business and Economic Research in collaboration with the Department of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention/The Children’s Trust Fund provides insight for the critical public policy issue of child maltreatment in our State. These entities released, “The Cost of Child Maltreatment to the Alabama Economy” during a press conference held Tuesday, April 20th at the State House in Montgomery, AL. Using the latest data available from 2018, this report is an extensive study that breaks out the economic impact that child maltreatment has on the state of Alabama.
The $3.7 billion annual cost is just the direct cost on the state if only the child victims are considered.
“No one can dispute the devastating toll child maltreatment has on the physical and emotional health of children and families in Alabama. By documenting its substantial financial impact on our state, this report shines a light on how far-reaching the issue is and how the prevention of child abuse and neglect should be a priority for us all,’’ says Stuart Usdan, Ph.D., Dean of The University of Alabama College of Human Environmental Sciences.
“This study indicates the State of Alabama must invest more in preventing child maltreatment because prevention will reduce its cost on the state economy and contribute to economic growth by expanding the workforce and its productivity. About 73 percent of the $3.7 billion cost is due to lost productivity caused by child maltreatment,” added Samuel Addy, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Research and Outreach in The University of Alabama Culverhouse College of Business. Usdan and Addy are two of the study’s six co-authors.
Representative Terri Collins, Alabama Department of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board Chair, says, “This study was also conducted in 2015 by The University of Alabama College of Human Environmental Sciences and The University of Alabama Center for Business and Economic Research in collaboration with the Department of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention/The Children’s Trust Fund. This follow-up study shows an almost $1.5 billion dollar increase in costs associated with child maltreatment to our state’s economy from the previous report from $2.3 billion in 2015 to $3.7 billion in 2018. The Department of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention works to ensure programs are provided all over the state, so healthy communities are strengthened, and children are protected. We all do better when children and families are thriving!”
In Alabama over 10,000 children are victims of child abuse and neglect each year. The real cost of child maltreatment is the heartbreak of shattered lives and destroyed families.
“The cost of child maltreatment to Alabama is staggering. This report reinforces the stance that we must do more to prevent child abuse and neglect before it can occur,” stated Sallye Longshore, Director of the Department of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention.
As April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, the timing of this report underscores the important role communities play in protecting children. Community-based programs that receive funding from The Alabama Department of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention work diligently to strengthen families by educating and enhancing protective factors that work to prevent child maltreatment and promote optimal child development.