With the large number of child abuse and neglect victims and caretakers to be served, large case worker loads, high volume of criminal justice referrals, and limited programs available, resources are rationed. Victims of child sexual abuse and severe physical abuse are the most frequently referred for criminal justice action and program services. In general, neglect cases—especially those involving chronic low-level neglect – receive few or no services. However, experts emphasize that sexual abuse, physical violence, emotional and psychological abuse, and neglect often co-occur, so these children are many times not being served.
The following is an example of poor communication between researchers, policy makers, practitioners, and program providers: Research on one State’s severe cases of physical abuse and child abuse and neglect fatalities revealed that a key factor in many cases was unrealistic parental expectations as a result of limited or incorrect knowledge of child development.
How many children have to die before more attention is paid to these crimes?
The state, county, or local departments of social services determines how services are delivered. This varies in all 50 states. Child abuse may be reported to the police who may investigate and/or refer the case to CPS (Child Protective Services). Usually, there is no attempt made to access the overall service needs of the family at the time of the report.
With the amount of money we as a nation spend on social services, you would think these inequities would be reviewed at the highest levels of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I hope this is the case.
 “Child Abuse Intervention,” The National Institute of Justice, OJP, USDOJ, October 1997.