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May 1991

Child Abuse and Neglect: Critical First Steps in Response to a National Emergency: The Report of the US Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver, and the C. Henry Kempe National Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect, Denver.

Am J Dis Child. 1991;145(5):513-515. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1991.02160050039008

In June 1990, the US Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect presented its first report to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services and Congress. The board had studied the status of the child protection system (broadly defined as the system, not just the child protective services (CPS) agencies involved in the multidisciplinary recognition, intervention, treatment, and prevention of child abuse and neglect). The board was established under provisions of public law 100-294, and the 1988 Amendments to the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act. The mission of the board is to evaluate the nation's efforts to accomplish the purposes of the Act and to make recommendations on ways in which those efforts can be improved.

The board concluded that child abuse and neglect in the United States now represents a national emergency. This conclusion is based on three findings: (1) each year, hundreds of thousands

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