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$350 Million a Year – the Cost of Child Abuse in Idaho

LOGO: Idaho Children's Trust Fund
LOGO: Idaho Children's Trust Fund
May 11, 2012

BOISE, Idaho – The price tag for child abuse and neglect in Idaho is estimated to be more than $350 million a year. A new report from Prevent Child Abuse America tallies up costs around the country, looking at hospitalizations, foster care, police investigations, and lost productivity at work related to childhood trauma.

Roger Sherman, director of the Idaho Children's Trust Fund, says the report helps put the cost of prevention into perspective.

"Even if you took one percent of the $350 million that it costs in Idaho, you know, you'd have $3.5 million. You could do amazing things with $3.5 million."

Sherman says making investments in prevention will prove cost-effective.

"Prevention is about education. It's about helping people learn to be better, stronger parents. It's about communities learning how they can work together to provide environments where kids can thrive."

The report estimates child abuse and neglect costs the nation more than $80 billion a year, while also noting the non-monetary "costs" - the physical, emotional and spiritual toll on families. It is online at PreventChildAbuse.org.

Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - ID