Policymakers concerned about child welfare need to know the full extent of harm perpetrated against children. Policymakers also need to know which categories of incidents are handled by law enforcement, which are handled by child welfare, and which are handled by both systems. The large number of child abuse incidents found in NIBRS data and described in this Bulletin, coupled with the trend toward greater police involvement in child maltreatment cases noted above, highlights the need for more understanding of the role law enforcement currently plays and potentially could play in responding to the problem of child abuse.

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Child Abuse Reported to the Police Juvenile Justice Bulletin May 2001