This data set contains more than 6,500 state-level reports of children who died of abuse or neglect across 38 U.S. states. You can also search this data through our interactive website.
The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act requires states make available certain information about children who die of abuse or neglect. ProPublica requested this information in all 50 states, and the records contained in this dataset were provided by 38 states and, in three states, individual counties. In some states we have augmented the records with additional information. For example, in Alabama we have procured autopsy records for children whose autopsies were available.
Upon request, CAPTA requires states to list the age and gender of the child, and information about a household’s prior contact with welfare services. The information is supposed to help government agencies prevent child abuse, neglect and death, but reporting across states is so inconsistent that comparisons and trends are impossible to identify. Some states release more than they are required to, but most do not release enough. Journalists should not use this data to make numerical conclusions about child abuse or neglect.
The free download of this CSV file includes the information publicly available on our site. Journalists may contact ProPublica at [email protected] for a copy of a CSV file containing additional information about each child that can be joined with the free dataset on the column "DBN." The non-public information includes the names of children we believe we’ve identified through news articles, links to relevant news articles, and narrative summaries of their deaths and any previous contact the children had with child welfare services. These should be thoroughly fact checked before publication of the material. Each row in the dataset is one child. If more than one child was killed in a singular incident, each child has his or her own row.
Provided in collaboration with The Boston GlobeProPublica & The Boston Globe