Abuse and Neglect

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Abuse and neglect

In FY07, 50 percent of reports of suspected abuse and neglect to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) were girls (n=48,279) and 49 percent of reports were boys (n=47,015) (1 percent unknown).

DCFS investigates all reports of alleged abuse and neglect of youth age 0 to 17 years old. If credible evidence is revealed, the cases are considered "indicated." In FY07, DCFS indicated 26,233 (27 percent) of reported cases of child abuse and neglect, and 67 cases resulted in death. There were 25 deaths of girls under the age of 17 due to abuse or neglect and 13 girls were under the age of one year old. Fifty-one percent of indicated child abuse and neglect reports were on girls (n=13,235), and 49 percent were on boys (n=12,804) (Figure 5).

Figure 5
Children indicated for child abuse and neglect by gender, FY07

Pie Chart: Gender Unknown (0.7%), Boys (48.8%), Girls (50.5%)

Source: Illinois Department of Child and Family Services

From FY02 to FY07, a 3 percent increase was seen in female children indicated for abuse and neglect in Illinois, from 12,875 to 13,235. From FY06 to FY07, there was a 6 percent increase of girls indicated for abuse and neglect. The rate of child abuse and neglect was higher for girls than for boys, 843 girls per 100,000 were indicated for abuse and neglect, compared to 782 boys (Figure 6). These increases are of concern given that child victims may be prone to delinquency and experience physical and emotional problems later in life.

Figure 6
Rate of children indicated for abuse and neglect by gender, FY02-07

Line Chart: 2 Lines (Rate per 100,000 ages 10 to 17)
Aproximate numbers

2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
Girls ~810 ~820 ~820 ~825 ~800 ~845
Boys ~720 ~740 ~745 ~745 ~725 ~780

Source: Illinois Department of Child and Family Services

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