1990 to present
Mode of Collection
States submit case-level data by constructing an electronic file of child-specific records for each report of alleged child abuse and neglect that received a CPS response. The Agency File contains data that are not reportable at the child-specific level and are often gathered from agencies external to CPS. States are asked to submit both the Child File and the Agency File each year.
The National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS) is a voluntary data collection system that gathers information from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico about reports of child abuse and neglect. NCANDS was established in response to a Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act amendment in 1988. The data are used to examine trends in child abuse and neglect across the country. Key findings are published in Administration for Children and Families' (ACF) Child Welfare Outcomes Reports to Congress and annual Child Maltreatment reports.
Data used for the Healthy People measures include state and national rates of fatal and nonfatal maltreatment, rates by sex, and rates by age group. Rates are population based and per 1,000 children in the population for nonfatal maltreatment and per 100,000 children in the population for fatal maltreatment.
Victims of maltreatment age birth to 17 in the 50 states and District of Columbia.
Every year, NCANDS data are submitted voluntarily by the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The NCANDS reporting year is based on the federal fiscal-year calendar which spans October 1 to September 30. States submit case-level data, called a Child File, by constructing an electronic file of child-specific records for each report of alleged child abuse and neglect that received a Child Protective Services (CPS) response in the form of an investigation or alternative response. Case-level data include information about the characteristics of the reports of abuse and neglect, the children involved, the types of maltreatment, the CPS findings, the risk factors of the child and the caregivers, the services provided, and the perpetrators. The Child File is supplemented by agency-level aggregate statistics in a separate data submission called the Agency File. The Agency File contains data that are not reportable at the child-specific level and are often gathered from agencies external to CPS. Information collected in the Agency File include receipt of prevention services, screened-out children and referrals, out-of-court contacts, fatalities not reported in the Child File, workforce data, etc. States are asked to submit both the Child File and the Agency File each year. NCANDS data are also used for the annual Child Maltreatment report series. Each report provides national and state-level data for the given fiscal year and where possible 5-year trends and is a key resource for thousands of people and organizations across the world. The Children's Bureau has publicly released NCANDS data since the 1990 working paper.
National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect website.