Public Health Resources


Date of this Version



Prev Sci, DOI 10.1007/s11121-017-0819-8


U.S. government work.


We assessed the US state-level budget and societal impact of implementing two child abuse and neglect (CAN) primary prevention programs. CAN cost estimates and data from two prevention programs (Child-Parent Centers and Nurse-Family Partnership) were combined with current population, cost, and CAN incidence data by US state. A cost benefit mathematical model for each program by US state compared program costs with the future monetary value of benefits from reduced CAN. The models used a lifetime time horizon from government payer and societal perspectives. Both programs could potentially avert CAN among tens of thousands of children across the country. Lower costs from reduced CAN may substantially offset, but not always entirely eliminate, payers’ program implementation cost. Results are sensitive to the rate of CAN in each US state. Given the considerable lifetime societal cost of CAN, including victims’ lost work productivity, the programs were cost saving from the societal perspective in all US states using base case methods. This analysis represents an overall minimum return on payers’ investment because averted CAN is just one of many positive health and educational outcomes associated with these programs and non-monetary benefits from reduced CAN were not included. Translating cost and effectiveness research on injury prevention programs for local conditions might increase decision makers’ adoption of effective programs.