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Report: ID Could Protect Kids and Save Money

January 30, 2008

Boise, ID – Child abuse and neglect cost the U.S. $104 billion last year, and the pain and suffering for victims goes beyond a dollar amount, according to a new report from Prevent Child Abuse America. The report also points out that abuse and neglect are preventable with investment in improving child safety and family well-being.

Idaho Children's Trust Fund board member Robin Sanchez says it makes better sense for kids, and for budgets, to invest in family health up front.

"If we had more flexible funding to support some more prevention and intervention, we could reduce the cost of foster care and use that to build stronger families."

Sanchez says prevention needs to be a partnership to successfully keep kids healthy and keep families together.

"Child abuse prevention means collaboration with health care, early childhood education, mental health, substance abuse treatment, and services that promote keeping families together."

Sanchez says in Idaho, most foster cases involve neglect, not abuse, and that means focusing on relieving economic and other stresses on families could lower demand on the foster care system. The Idaho Children's Trust Fund makes grants and works with community organizations statewide to prevent child abuse and neglect in Idaho.

Deborah Smith/Eric Mack, Public News Service - ID