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Substantiated child abuse/neglect cases in Tennessee

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Definition and Source



Unduplicated counts of child abuse or neglect for which sufficient evidence exists. Individual cases may involve one child or multiple children. Substantiation only occurs for cases involving serious physical injury (whether severe or not), serious psychological harm (whether severe or not), drug exposure (as defined in the SDM only), death or preliminary near death, sexual abuse, exposure to manufacturing of methamphetamines, abandonment of a child under age 8, or a child without supervision in a dangerous environment. Cases of a less serious nature may be deemed more likely than not to have occurred and may be classified as “Services Court Ordered” or “Services Needed” but are not counted as “Substantiated.”
Rate is per 1,000 child population younger than age 18. Data relate to state fiscal year (July-June).

Data Source

The Tennessee Department of Children's Services supplied case data. Population data were from the Division of Population Health Assessment, Tennessee Department of Health. The Kids Count division of the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth calculated the rates.


2021 rate is based on 2020 population data.

Last Updated

September 2023