In 2015, two-thirds of California children (67 percent) involved in a substantiated case of maltreatment suffered general neglect. General neglect occurs when a parent, guardian, or caregiver fails to provide adequate food, shelter, medical care, or supervision for a child, but no physical injury happens. More severe types of maltreatment—severe neglect, physical abuse, and sexual abuse—were inflicted upon 18 percent of children involved in substantiated cases in 2015.
Providing an accessible system of mental health, substance abuse, and other supportive services for families with children at risk of maltreatment could help prevent child abuse and neglect. In addition, increasing collaboration across public and private sectors such as local and state government, education, health care, nonprofit, and the media could help ensure that all children have safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments.