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Maltreatment of Young Children: Risk and Response
Attention to the maltreatment of the youngest children was amplified over Child Abuse Prevention Month in April. In particular, two reports were released that together reveal infants and toddlers' elevated risk of maltreatment and resulting harm, as well as policies, programs, and practices to counter both.
Child Trends released Young and Vulnerable: Children Five and Under Experience High Maltreatment Rates, which makes use of data from the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System, National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect, and the National Incidence Study to demonstrate youngest children's disproportionate maltreatment through an array of statistical analysis. The paper concludes with an overview of relevant federal policies.
Additionally, Zero To Three and policy partners, including CWLA's Linda Spears, Vice President of Policy and Public Affairs, published A Call to Action on Behalf of Maltreated Infants and Toddlers. This report represents a collective vision of important policy, program, and practice steps to better address the developmental needs of infants and toddlers who come to the attention of the child welfare system. It is intended to provide a starting point for federal, state, and local policymakers and administrators to assess and identify where and how they can revise or institute policies and practices that protect the development and safety of infants and toddlers.