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Child Abuse Within Alabama and Georgia


Child Abuse Within Alabama and Georgia An in-depth study of child abuse statistics, preventive/protective organizations, and internal state child abuse conflicts. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Child Abuse Within Alabama and Georgia

Child Abuse Within Alabama and Georgia
  • An in-depth study of child abuse statistics,
    preventive/protective organizations, and internal
    state child abuse conflicts.

Defining Child Abuse
  • United States Code Collection Title 42, Chapter
    67 states
  • Child abuse/neglect is any recent act or failure
    to act on the part of a parent or caretaker,
    which results in death, serious physical or
    emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation or
  • An act or failure to act that presents imminent
    risk or serious harm to a minor.

National Child Abuse Statistics
Specific Areas of Concern
  • State run organizations What system does each
    state implement in dealing with child abuse
  • Protection/prevention agencies and their role in
    state programs
  • Specific problems that each state has to deal
    with in the area of child abuse

Alabama and Child Abuse
Alabama Department of Human Resources
  • Child Abuse/Neglect Administration
  • Manages and conducts administrative records and
    reviews of persons involved in an abusive
  • Keeps records of every accusation, conviction and
    punishment given when abuse is reported and taken
    to court
  • Child Protective/Central Registry on Child Abuse
  • Provides therapy for children and case follow up
  • Administers the placement of children in state
  • Applies for and monitors grants given to child
    protect services
  • Aids in child protection/prevention and state
    policy developments.

Problems within the Child Protective and Central
Registry on Child Abuse
  • 1. State allotted funds allow for extensive
    therapy and counseling
  • Fact Alabama allows case follow up and
    counseling services for 1-3 years after abusive
    incident occurs. Studies prove that emotional and
    mental effects of abuse can take decades to
    surface. Most of the common effects (withdrawal,
    denial) do not even occur until 4-6 years after
    the abuse occurs.
  • 2. Licensed therapists and qualified employees
    are allowed to determine when children can be
    released from weekly/monthly therapy session.
  • Fact In 1997, 58 of patients seen by the
    therapists in this organization were given
    clearance from all counseling sessions after only
    8 months.
  • 3. Case involvement and follow ups Cases will
    be investigated and kept on file for at least 10
    years prior to incident.
  • Fact During the past 3 years, 46 of child
    fatalities that occurred due to some form of
    abuse, had current or prior contact with state
    child protective services.

Child Fatality Agencies in Alabama
  • The Alabama Child Death Review System was
    established in 1997 to investigate
    suspicious/wrongful child deaths.
  • This agency is responsible for reporting exact
    causes (who and/or what) of wrongful child deaths
    and implore the aid of other state agencies to
    combat this problem.
  • Child Death Review Teams are a relatively new
    sub-division of the Alabama Child Death Review
  • The review teams are responsible for taking the
    information supplied by the ACDRS and
    continuously search for preventive measures.
    (physical/behavioral signs to look for, parental
    behavior, etc)

The Deadly Facts of Alabama Child Abuse
  • In Alabama, on average, 3 children die per day
    due to some form of abuse or neglect.
  • 85 of the cases involve children under the age
    of 5
  • 45 of the cases involved children under the age
    of 1
  • Nationally, Alabama is ranked 8 of states that
    have children die due to abuse/ neglect.

So What Is Alabama Doing To Combat These Pressing
Child Abuse Issues???
Preventive and Protective Services
  • As mentioned before, problems in this category
    fall mainly under The Alabama Child Protective
    and Central Registry on Child Abuse. What is
    currently being done is the instillation of
    progressive new programs that allow private,
    child advocacy centers to aid state funded
    institutions. By doing so, this allows more
    volunteers, time and money to be spent on
    accomplishing the goals of state institutions.
    These goals include more licensed therapists to
    provide counseling services for extended amounts
    of time, as well as intensive and longer case
    follow ups to aid in prevention and protection.

Dealing with Abusive Deaths
  • The Alabama Child Death Review Teams are now
    branching out into counties throughout the state.
    As of March 24, 2000, 28 counties have review
    teams, with 10 more counties in the process of
    establishing teams.
  • These teams are working to open the lines of
    communication with local health officials and the
    communities in an effort to investigate child
    abuse deaths. In return, these teams will
    educate the public on the severity of this

In Review
  • Alabama is like many other states in the nation
    in that it is attempting to deal with child abuse
    problems effectively. Unfortunately there is no
    progressive legislation or agency that has
    stopped abuse and neglect all together. However,
    Alabama does have ever-evolving ideas and a
    system that is growing and changing in an effort
    to protect its children.

Georgia and Child Abuse
Organizations in Place
  • The Georgia Department of Human Resources has one
    agency in place that deals with abuse and
  • The Department of Family and Children Services
    serves as an all-encompassing organization that
    records and investigates abusive situations,
    provides counseling for victims, and catalogs
    child deaths due to abuse.

Protective/Preventive Services
  • The Georgia Department of Family and Children
    Services had more than 70,000 reports of abuse
    filed in 1999.
  • This department is constantly facing case
    overloads, insufficient staffing, not enough
    counselors and therapists, and lack of funding.
  • All of these problems ultimately contribute to
    the three major areas of child abuse concern
    within Georgia neglect, sexual abuse, and
    government funding.

Neglect in Georgia
  • Neglect by definition means children that are
    inadequately supervised, poorly clothed, poorly
    housed, do not receive health care and/ or are
    not properly fed.
  • Often one of the hardest forms of abuse to
    identify, neglect has risen 31 from 1999 2000.
  • In 2000 alone there were 23,703 cases of neglect
    investigated, filed and taken to court.

Sexual Abuse In Georgia
  • As defined by the National Clearinghouse on Child
    Abuse and Neglect Information, sexual abuse
    includes, use, persuasion, or coercion of any
    child to engage in, or assist any other person to
    engage in, any sexually explicit conduct.. or
    rape, and in cases of caretaker or inter-family
    relationships, statutory rape, molestation,
    prostitution, or other form of sexual
    exploitation of children, or incest with
  • In 1999, 45 children in Georgia died from sexual
    abuse. The majority of these children were under
    the age of 12.
  • A common assumption is that girls are the only
    ones that are sexually abused. In 1999, 47 of
    sexually abused children were boys under the age
    of 11.

Sexual AbuseThe ever-increasing statistic
1999 Total Tax Money Spent on Child Abuse
  • Child
    Child Child Mental Child
  • Total Child Abuse Neglect Sexual
    Physical Abuse / Neglect Fatal
    Medical Spending 4,400
    12,600 200 200
    Mental Health
    50,800 42,800 98,800
  • Victim Work/School Loss 18,500
    54,900 10,900 11,000
  • Public Programs 9,600
    31,000 81,300 10
  • Property Damage -
    400 -
  • Total Monetary
    83,300 141,700 191,200
    11,320 Quality of Life
    794,200 920,300 840,600
  • Total Comprehensive 877,500
    1,062,000 1,031,800 39,220
  • The Grand Total 3,010,520
  • While this may seem like a large amount spent,
    with increasing child abuse statistics, more
    money is needed to provide efficient protective
    and preventive services.

Georgias Solutions
  • First, Georgia has addressed conflicts within
    protective and preventive services.
  • The state now allows outside institutions to aid
    in abuse services. Prevent Child Abuse Georgia,
    a non-profit organization, has taken over a large
    amount of prevention work that used to be a
    responsibility of the Dept. Of Human Resources.
    This agency provides parent programs, childrens
    programs, community involvement, strategic
    partnership, professional education and advocacy.
  • The Medical College of Georgia also offers
    services to relieve the understaffed DHR. The
    college offers a large staff of licensed
    therapists, medical attention, and psychologists
    that are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • These organizations, along with several others,
    have worked in conjunction with the DHR to cut
    down work overloads, inadequate staffing, and
    lack of medical needs. These agencies also work
    at minimal-to-no costs in an effort to work with
    the limited DHR funding.

Combating Abuse and Neglect
  • In October 1999, changes were made within the
    Georgia Child Protective Services Systems
    By-laws. These changes dealt with defining the
    severity of child abuse neglect.
  • The changes made were include
  • 1.Child safety over preservation
  • 2.Structured decision making
  • 3.Attention to high risk cases

The Amendments
  • Child safety over preservation- This amendment
    states that the judicial system and the DHR would
    no longer emphasize keeping a blood-related
    family together at all costs. This allows
    Georgia officials to take more aggressive strides
    when taking away parental rights for abuse and
  • Structured Decision Making Historically, only
    the specific case worker and their supervisor
    were allowed to make decisions regarding an
    abuse/neglect case. The new amendment states
    that all case workers are permitted to
    investigate and/or re-open a case.
  • Attention to High Risk Cases- Cases are now rated
    as high, medium and low according to the amount
    of risk that is involved for the child. This
    allows case workers to determine what they are
    dealing with and what avenues need to be
    explored. Also, with this new system comes
    increased contact with Child Protect Services.
    The higher the rate a family or case is given,
    the more contact it has with child services.
    Since October when these amendments were made,
    high risk family visits have tripled.

Stopping Sexual Abuse
  • The first progressive step Georgia has taken is
    the Sex Offender Registry. This is a program
    developed by child protect services and the
    Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) and has
    been implemented state wide.
  • What this program entails
  • -When a person is convicted of a sexual
    crime, the GBI collects information including
    name, fingerprints, photos, physical description,
    places of employment and case status. This
    conviction and information is kept on-file
  • -The GBI and child protect services then are
    allowed, by law, to provide this information to
    the community. Neighborhoods, community centers,
    churches, and area businesses are all notified
    of the above information concerning the offender.
    (All information is available to the public
    except for any information concerning the victim)
  • This labels a sex offender for life. Every time
    this person moves to a new location or applies
    for a job, the information of being a convicted
    sexual offender will arise. This is Georgias
    way of protecting its citizens, especially

  • Georgia state officials, child protect services,
    and school boards across the state have joined
    together to present effective programs regarding
    physical, sexual and emotional abuse, as well as
  • These programs include video tapes, work books
    and group discussions. This is all an effort to
    educate young people on the warning signs of
    abuse, who to turn to for help, and ways to

Showing Child Abuse Services the Money!
  • As previously mentioned, Georgia allotted
    3,010,520 in 1999 for child abuse incidents and
    victims. However, since statistically the amount
    of abused children has risen, the monetary
    compensation must also rise.
  • State run institutions are now imploring the
    monetary aid of private child advocacy
    institutions. Over 1,000 of these organizations
    exist within Georgia and all have contributed
    monetary support as well as program support.
  • Coastal Childrens Advocacy Center of Savannah
    raised more than 25,000 dollars in child protect

In Review..
  • It is a geographical fact that Alabama and
    Georgia are closely related. It would seem to be
    a fair assumption that these states would have
    similar programs and problems when it comes to
    child abuse. This presentation has proven that
    to be true and false.
  • Both states share a common organization called
    the Department of Human Resources. Each of these
    departments have subdivisions within them that
    deal with child abuse. Both Alabama and Georgia
    have internal conflicts within their
    protective/preventive services. However, there
    are differences when looking at each state in

In Review
  • Alabama must concentrate on lack of case follow
    up and counseling services in preventive and
    protective agencies. This state must also deal
    with an ever-increasing child abuse death rate.
  • Georgia is more concerned with case overloads,
    insufficient staffing, and lack of funding. This
    state must also handle rising neglect and sexual
    abuse statistics and program funding.

  • The end result of this study was that each state
    is working towards establishing effective child
    protective services. It is not clear which state
    is in better shape or has more figured out when
    it comes to preventing child abuse, seeing as
    though they deal with different problems. What is
    obvious is that each state puts child abuse and
    neglect as a top concern and are continuously
    working to alleviate this growing problem.
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