DCFS Statistics - Child Abuse and Child Neglect Cases

The Los Angeles DCFS keeps updated case stats on its web-site. Here is some interesting information from the June 2014 DCFS data fact sheet.

There were 13,449 cases referred to DCFS during June 2014. This means that during this one month people reported child abuse or neglect over 13K times.

Of the cases referred during this month 67% were categorized as abuse, while 34% were categorized as neglect. The rest were categorized as exploitation 0.0%, or Caretaker Absence / Incapacity 1.1%. Side note: 1.1% doesn’t sound like a lot of cases, but it actually means there were 151 reported cases of caretaker child issues reported in that one month.

As of June 2014 there were 36,542 children receiving DCFS services.

Demographics across all 36,542 DCFS cases: 59.6% of the children were reported as Hispanic. 25.9% were African American. 11.1% were White. 1.5% were Asian / Pacific Islander. The other categories make up less than 1% each.

When it comes to children in out-of-home placement, just under 75% were 13 years old or younger. Nearly 1 in 5 (19.6%) was 2 years old or younger.

Of all the kids in out-of-home placement 44% were staying with relatives or extended family. 31% are staying with a Foster Family or Foster Agency Home. It should be noted some of stats may be a bit off depending on how they are categorized.Of the children reported almost the exact same number were boys and girls.

Foster homes typically have 2 to 3 beds per home. The stats don’t say however if this means each Foster Home is actually housing 2-3 kids per home. By comparison Group Homes have an average of 13 beds per home in Los Angeles County. Outside of Los Angeles County it is reported that Group Homes have around 16 beds per home.

DCFS on-line reports information from as far back as 1998. Statistics and numbers of course don’t tell a full story, but it is interesting to see how things have changed or stayed nearly the same all these years.

We wanted to compare the numbers between December 2004 and December 2013. These dates were chosen nearly at random although they were the longest period of time we could find and still have the same month shown (December).

Some interesting information:

  • The ratio of boys to girls dealt with by DCFS in December 2004 and December 20014 was exactly the same (down to one tenth of one percent).

  • The ratio of Abuse to Neglect cases reported appears to be very similar both months across the 9 years. However it can be hard to tell as DCFS changes some of the categories over the years. For example in 2004 there was a category called “Substantial Risk” but they don’t define if that was risk of abuse or neglect (or both).

  • One change is the ethnicity of the overall cases being handled by DCFS. The percentage of Hispanic children went from 45.1% in 2004, to 59.7% in 2013. The percentage of African American children dropped from 36.7% in 2004 to 25.7% in 2013.

Do not rely on this site for DCFS statistics. To find the most accurate and up-to-date DCFS information you should go directly to DCFS. To find the DCFS Fact-Sheets you can go to their site here: http://lacdcfs.org/aboutus/factsheets.html

Topics Covered: DCFS child abuse, foster homes, foster care, DCFS numbers