Protection from Abuse & Neglect

Child abuse or neglect leads to the death of at least 1,770 children every year in the U.S., and an estimated 509,300 children are seriously harmed due to abuse or neglect. We need to be sure that we, through our child welfare system, do everything we can to protect these children.

CAI's work to improve the child welfare system has included impact litigation, state and federal legislative and regulatory advocacy, research and publication of special reports, and more. Specific areas of focus include ensuring states' compliance with current federal child welfare laws, such as those mandating the public disclosure by states of information regarding child abuse or neglect fatalities and near fatalities (to enable the public to identify and fix systemic problems in the state's protection of children); ensuring trained, competent, child-directed attorneys for children in dependency court proceedings; ensuring an adequate supply of quality foster homes—the best setting for most children in foster care; opening up the dependency court process to increase public awareness about the important work being done by the overburdened and underresourced child welfare and dependency court systems; improving the quality of life for children in foster care; and enhancing the quality and quantity of resources that are available to older youth as they transition out of the foster care system.

CAI's work in this area includes the following: