Of all the programs and services regulated, administered or delivered by government, there are arguably none more important than the delivery of child welfare services: child protection, foster care and adoption. World Health Organization statistics show that 25 percent of adults worldwide report having been physically abused as children. The economic cost associated with the consequences of physical, psychological and sexual violence against children is estimated at USD 7 trillion annually. And then, of course, there are the costs that each individual child experiences. It is difficult, and probably unnecessary, to quantify the impact of child abuse and neglect on the victims, but 25 percent of abused and neglected children will experience problems such as delinquency, teen pregnancy, low academic achievement, drug use and mental health problems. This, of course, doesn’t take into account the more immediate physical, emotional and psychological consequences of child maltreatment.
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