“The Economics of Child Abuse” is a study quantifying the economic cost
of child abuse to the San Francisco Bay Area.


“The Economics of Child Abuse: A Study of San Francisco” is a first-of-its-kind report quantifying the economic cost of child abuse to the San Francisco community. The report assesses community risk factors that make families of the city vulnerable to abuse. It also discusses protective factors which keep families safe and strong. The original report was published in January 2017 using 2015 data. The Snapshot was updated in April 2018, using 2017 data.

2018 Snapshot       2018 Infographic       2017 report    


“Although we have quantified the cost of a child abuse victim, it’s impossible to quantify the impact of abuse to a child, their family and our community — with one single case our society has been degraded. This report proves that not only morally, but fiscally, it is our mandate as a community to end child abuse once and for all.” — Katie Albright


  • The total estimated costs associated with one year of substantiated cases of child abuse in San Francisco for the victims of 2017 is $226.5 million (it was $301.6 million for the victims of 2015).
  • Given significant under-reporting of child abuse, the total economic cost could be as high as $6.5 billion.
  • San Francisco has community risk factors that make its residents more susceptible to abuse, including: impact of economic instability and homelessness, emigration and immigration, low number of families and young children.
  • Strengthening protective factors — parental resilience, social connections, concrete support in times of need, knowledge of parenting, and social / emotional competence of children — is critical to preventing child abuse.



“The Economics of Child Abuse: A Study of the Bay Area” calculates the cost of child abuse to the greater Bay Area.

The 10 Bay Area counties include: Alameda County, Contra Costa County, Marin County, Monterey County, Napa County, San Francisco County, San Mateo County, Santa Clara County, Solano County, and Sonoma County.

2018 Bay area Snapshot       2018 BAY AREA Infographic


  • There are about 64,000 reports of child abuse in the Bay Area each year — that’s one report every nine minutes
  • The economic cost to the Bay Area for the 5,775 victims in 2017 is $2 billion.
  • Given significant underreporting, the estimated cost could be as high as $67.8 billion for one year of victims.

Technical Appendix


Sample Posts:

  • Child Abuse costs the Bay Area $2 Billion each year. It’s time we protect children & reduce the #CostOfAbuse. New report by @safesoundkids
  • Fascinating report by Safe & Sound about the Economics of Child Abuse. One year of child abuse victims costs the community $226.5M. http:/



“[Safe & Sound (formerly the San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center)]released the first-ever report on the cost of child abuse Thursday, calculating how much the crime costs the community.” — San Francisco Examiner

“Child maltreatment is often measured by lives forever scarred by trauma and families torn apart, but a new study estimates that each case of abuse also carries a hefty price tag.” — Chronicle of Social Change

“When hearing about child abuse, many people immediately point the finger at parents, but research clearly shows that a child can only be healthy in a healthy family, and a family can only be healthy in a healthy community.” — ACES Connection

with deep appreciation to:

Haas School of Business, University of California Berkeley’s Social Sector Solutions, the Casey Family Programs, S.H. Cowell Foundation, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, Zellerbach Family Foundation, and the California Department of Social Services, Office of Child Abuse Prevention.