Child abuse and neglect is not caused by a single factor but by multiple factors related to the individual, family, community, and society at large. Environments that are violent, lack accessible and effective community resources, and are disproportionately affected by poverty or unemployment are variables that contribute to child abuse and neglect. PCA Georgia developed a child abuse and neglect prevention model that displays prevention strategies at the individual, community, and societal level.
Georgia had a 49% drop in substantiated child maltreatment cases (2016 to 2017). This can be partially attributed to new laws and policies that began mid-2016 as the Child Abuse Registry (CAR), legislation was implemented.
- GA started collecting and reporting personal info on alleged child abusers from substantiated maltreatment cases in the CAR.
- Even if specific allegations are not substantiated, the Division may open a case (Family Preservation or Support) and provide services to families. The total number of families receiving services from the Division continues to increase.
- The Division is moving away from incident focused cases to a determination of safety. A substantiation of child abuse is not the driver for services as it once was.
Types of Child Maltreatment
Cost of Child Maltreatment
*A Quality-Adjusted Life Year includes intangible costs due to pain, suffering, and grief resulting from child abuse & neglect among victims and communities.
QALYS should be reported separately, and are not included in the Total Direct Costs.
1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children’s Bureau. (2021). Child Maltreatment 2019. Available from https://www.acf.hhs.gov/cb/report/child-maltreatment-2019
2. The Annie E. Casey Foundation. (2020). Kids Count Databook 2020. Baltimore, MD. https://www.aecf.org/resources/2020-kids-count-data-book/
3. Peterson, C., Florence, C. & Klevens, J. (2018). The economic burden of child maltreatment in the United States, 2016. Child Abuse & Neglect, 86. 178-183.
4. Hussey, J., Marshall, J., English, D., Knight, E., Lau, A. Dubowitz, H. et al. (2005). Defining maltreatment according to substantiation. Child Abuse & Neglect, 29(5), 479-492.
5. The Georgia Department of Public Health. (2018). Georgia Data Summary: Adverse Childhood Experiences. Retrieved from: https://abuse.publichealth.gsu.edu/files/2019/01/ACE_datasummary_April_2018_final.pdf
Children are shaped by their earliest experiences and relationships. Creating safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments are needed to support early brain development and promote lifelong learning and success. Conversely, negative early experiences, called Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), cause high levels of stress, called toxic stress. Frequent and prolonged levels of toxic stress can dramatically change how the brain develops.
This report summarizes data collected in 2016 and 2018 through Georgia’s ACEs module (11 questions) as a part of the Georgia Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (GA-BRFSS).
ACEs by Demographic Characteristics
-Females had a slightly higher prevalence of four or more (4+) ACEs compared to males
-Having 4+ ACEs did not significantly differ by race or ethnicity
-College graduates had a significantly lower prevalence of 4+ ACEs than adults with other educational levels.
3 in 5 Georgians Reported
at Least One ACE
Number of ACEs in Georgia’s Adult Population (%)
- 0 ACEs
- 1 ACE
- 2 ACEs
- 3 ACEs
- 4+ ACEs
Health Behavior and Outcomes for GA Adults Reporting 4+ ACEs Compared to 0 ACEs*
Adults with 4+ ACEs were more likely to:
-Have poor mental health for 14 days or more in the previous month
-Have been diagnosed with depression
-Have difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions due to a physical, emotional, or mental condition
National data shows adults with 4+ ACEs compared to zero are:
-6 times* more likely to have clinical depression
-3.6 times* more likely to have serious jobproblems
-2.2 times* more likely to have a heart attack
*All displayed results are significant
**Heavy Drinking- Male respondents who reported having more than 14 drinks per week, or female respondents who reported having more than 7 drinks per week.
***HIV Risk- Adults who reported that in the past year they had:1) Injected any non-prescribed drug, 2) Treated for a sexually transmitted disease, or 3) Given or received money or drugs in exchange for sex
Suggested Citation. Davis, V.N., Bayakly, A.R., Chosewood, D., Drenzek, C. 2018 Data Summary: Adverse Childhood Experiences. Georgia Department of Public Health,
Epidemiology Section, Chronic Disease, Healthy Behaviors, and Injury Epidemiology Unit
Georgia’s human trafficking reporting and services can be accessed through a new hotline – 1-866-END-HTGA (or 1-866-363-4842), managed by the Children’s Advocacy Centers of Georgia (CACGA). CACGA is now the statewide provider for human trafficking intervention services and support.
What Makes Georgia a Hotspot for Human Trafficking?
There’s a large entertainment industry in Atlanta, particularly with music and movies, which enables traffickers to lure people with false promises. Additionally, Atlanta is surrounded by major highways, an international airport, and various means of transportation which traffickers can use as a tool for trafficking.
Resources for Human Trafficking Prevention
- 10 Minute Human Trafficking Overview
- Human Trafficking Hotline- 1-866-END-HTGA (1-866-363-4842)
- Georgia’s Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation Prevention Technical Assistance Resource Guide (TARG). This resource guide provides basic support for schools and youth service organizations to implement age appropriate, evidence-based education prevention curriculum for children.
- Community awareness training and resources are available through the International Human Trafficking Institute and Georgia Cares.
- Georgia Labor Trafficking 2020 Report