April 2012, National Child Abuse Prevention Month
More than 688,000 children were victims of child abuse and neglect across the Unites States; a rate of 9.2 per 1,000 children. American Indian and Alaska Native children are victims of child abuse and neglect at a rate of 11.0 per 1,000 - the third highest rate of victimization after African American and mixed-race categories.
The Child Maltreatment 2010 Report (National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System, 2010)
The impact of child abuse and neglect on American Indian or Alaska Native children is profound. Research suggests that child abuse is related to increased risk for developing adverse physical and mental health outcomes in children and family members affected. To effectively address this multi-faceted public health problem, professionals working in the Indian Health Service must work in collaboration with law enforcement, social services, and the various court systems as well as entities from the private sector, to respond to and support and promote healthy development for child victims of abuse and neglect.
The Indian Health Service:
- Provides direct services, advocacy, and interagency consultation; coordinates multidisciplinary child protection teams in the Area; and collaborates with other Federal agencies to provide child/family protection services to AI/AN children and families;
- Promotes the development of telehealth to improve access to behavioral health services for children and youth in areas where facilities and providers are not readily available;
- Acts as an information clearinghouse for child abuse and neglect information and resources; and
- Funds the Domestic Violence Prevention Initiative, comprised of 65 projects nation-wide aimed at prevention of family violence, including child abuse and neglect.
For more information on child maltreatment see the following resources: