Young children enter foster care in disproportionately high numbers. In 2009, 5% of children in the United States who received child care subsidies were also under the guardianship of protective services.
Some quick facts about infants and toddlers in child welfare:
231,940 children ages 3 and younger had substantiated reports of maltreatment, accountingfor 33.4% of all substantiations in FY 2009. Of those children, 87,612 were under the age of 1.
Infants comprise a disproportionately large percentage of first-time admissions to out-of-home care.
Almost 1 in 4 children admitted to out-of-home care for the first time is under the age of 1. This proportion keeps rising.
Children under 3 who have been neglected are at a significantly higher risk of later experiencing developmental problems when compared to those who do not experience abuse.
While children who are maltreated at a young age are likely to develop a variety of problems across domains, they are also more amenable to effective intervention.
Compared to children who experience maltreatment in their teens, children who experience maltreatment in early childhood do better over the long term.