The Budget & Tax Center has released a new BTC Brief, “N.C. invests little to prevent child abuse and ultimately pays a higher price.” Reports of child abuse and neglect have increased 29 percent over the past 19 years in North Carolina, and the report outlines the importance of our fiscal decisions on the goal of protecting each child from abuse and neglect.
“The long-term impact of child abuse—and Adverse Childhood Experiences—is far-reaching; without a commitment to prevention and to effective systems and support for treatment, the effects of childhood abuse can generate a host of lifetime personal and societal costs.”
According to the report, the estimated annual nationwide cost of child abuse and neglect is $80 billion (2012 dollars), while North Carolina’s estimated annual share is $2.3 billion. As the report points out:
“A serious investment upfront to prevent child abuse is not only a moral imperative, it is more cost-effective than making investments after the fact to treat its costlier effects.”