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Missoula Healthy Kids Indicators - 2020


Being abused or neglected as a child has a negative impact on a person’s entire life, including development of social skills, learning ability, self-esteem, physical health, and mental health. It not only puts children at a disadvantage among their peers, but it also increases their risk of violence and other unacceptable behavior as an adult, including abusing ones own children.

Substantial economic costs are also associated with child abuse and neglect, including the direct costs of funds spent each year on child welfare services for abused and neglected children (out of home placement, medical treatment, counseling, criminal prosecution and treatment of perpetrators, etc), as well as the indirect costs dedicated to addressing the short- and long-term consequences of abuse and neglect (social violence, poverty, family violence, counseling, incarceration, long-term psychiatric care, etc.).

“Significant associations were found between child sexual abuse and higher rates of major depression, anxiety disorder, conduct disorder, substance use disorder, suicidal behavior, domestic violence, rape, sexual problems, mental health problems, low self-esteem, and problems with intimate relationships. Those whose abuse involved intercourse had the highest risk of disorder.” The Leadership Council, Research, Child Abuse Economics


The Montana Department of Family Services, funded by state and federal monies, is the only agency that responds to reports of child abuse and neglect.

The Missoula division receives about 100 child abuse calls each month. 55% of calls fit within the legal statutes for child abuse or neglect. Of those, about:

Child abuse reports: US Montana
% of reports substantiated 15 22
Caseload - # of reports per DFS intake/screening worker 69 49
Unique child victim rate / 1000 child population 9 7
US Health and Human Services Report - Child Maltreatment, 2009


Of children who received a response: US Montana
Duplicate victim rate 48 63
Unique victim rate 40 50
US Health and Human Services Report - Child Maltreatment, 2009


The duplicate count of child victims counts a child each time he or she was found to be a victim. The unique count of child victims counts a child only once regardless of the number of times he or she was found to be victim during the reporting year. Rate is per 1000 children.

Healthy People 2020 Target    
  Base Target
Non-fatal victims of maltreatment per 1000 under age 18 9.4 8.5
Children exposed to any kind of violence, crime, or abuse 60.6% 54.5%

How are we doing

In Montana in FY2009, there were:

NOTE: For substantiated cases, there must be a preponderance of evidence for substantial risk of harm or actual risk of harm.
Each report received is counted as 1, but may involve more than 1 child, or more than 1 type of abuse.  Therefore, the sum will be greater than the whole.

Source: Montana DFS

For Additional Data and Information important for evaluating this topic, click here.

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