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Dataset Details

State Child Abuse and Neglect (SCAN) Policies Database

Dataset Number: 245


Elizabeth C. Weigensberg, PhD - Mathematica
Nuzhat Islam, MS - Mathematica
Jean Knab, PhD - Mathematica
Mary A. Grider, MBA - Mathematica
Jeremy Page, MA - Mathematica
Sarah Bardin, BA - Mathematica


The State Child Abuse and Neglect (SCAN) Policies Database, supported by the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human services, compiles data on state definitions and policies related to the surveillance of child maltreatment incidence and associated risk and protective factors. The SCAN Policies Database is a resource for researchers, analysts, and others who are interested in examining differences in definitions and policies on child maltreatment across states. A primary use of these data is to allow researchers to link the analytic files to other data sources to address important questions about how variations in states’ definitions and policies are associated with the incidence of child maltreatment, the child welfare system response, and ultimately child safety and well-being. Other data sources that can be linked with the SCAN Policies Database include data from the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS), the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS), state administrative data, and survey data. When data from the SCAN Policies Database are linked with other data sources, these data can be used to answer key research questions about how variations in definitions and policies are associated with key aspects of understanding the incidence of child abuse and neglect. The SCAN Policies Database includes state definitions and policies from the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The data were collected from a review of statutes and state documentation between May 2019 - June 2020.

To learn more about the SCAN Policies Database project, explore the data online, or download a comma delimited data file (.csv), please visit

*Note: The NDACAN version of the SCAN Policies Database is identical to the data available for download from the SCAN Policies Database webpage but is offered in a wider variety of file formats including, SAS, SPSS, Stata, and a tab-delimited data file for use with spreadsheet programs and R. All file formats for statistical software programs contain variable and value labels.

Bibliographic Citation

Weigensberg, E., Islam, N., Knab, J., Grider, M., Page, J., & Bardin, S. (2020). State Child Abuse and Neglect (SCAN) Policies Database [Dataset]. National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect.

Data Documentation

Publications from this Dataset