In collaboration with the Children’s Bureau, the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation is conducting the Fourth National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect (NIS-4). The National Incidence Studies have been conducted approximately once each decade, beginning in 1974, in response to requirements of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act. Although the Children’s Bureau collects annual state-level administrative data on official reports of child maltreatment, the NIS studies are designed to estimate more broadly the incidence of child maltreatment in the United States by including both cases that are reported to the authorities as well as those that are not. A unique contribution of the NIS has been the use of a common definitional framework for classifying children according to types of maltreatment as well as the severity of maltreatment. Key demographic characteristics of maltreated children and their families are also collected, which enables us to provide information about which children are most at risk. Data collection for the NIS-4 took place in 2005 and 2006. The study was conducted through a contract to Westat.
Point(s) of contact: Maria Woolverton and Christine Fortunato.