Child maltreatment has immediate and lifelong consequences for health and well-being and is costly for governments.1 Historically, reporting of child protection services (CPS) contacts has offered a system view of child protection based on point incidence. Because CPS data have become increasingly available for research, the scale of the child maltreatment problem across the life span has begun to emerge. In the US, maltreatment is investigated in 37% of children,2 confirmed in 13% of children,3 and results in the placement of 6% of children in out-of-home care (OOHC) at least once by the time the child is 18 years of age. In New Zealand, 24% of children born in 1998 had 1 or more CPS notifications, 10% had experienced substantiated maltreatment, and 3% had 1 or more OOHC placements by 17 years of age.4 More than one-third of New Zealand children reported to CPS by adulthood were first reported by age 5 years.4 This study used cross-sectoral data linkage to quantify the cumulative incidence of CPS involvement before 5 years of age among children in their first year of school in New South Wales, Australia.
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Falster K, Hanly M, Pilkington R, et al. Cumulative Incidence of Child Protection Services Involvement Before Age 5 Years in 153 670 Australian Children. JAMA Pediatr. Published online June 15, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2020.1151
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