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Child maltreatment is a devastating social problem worldwide. Important findings on the consequences of child abuse and neglect reveal the problem is not confined to children and childhood; rather, the effects of child abuse and neglect cascade throughout the life course, with costly consequences for individuals, families, and society. These effects are seen in all aspects of human functioning, including physical and mental health, and in important arenas such as education, work, and social relationships. However tragic and sensational, the counts of deaths and serious injuries provide limited insight into the pervasive dimensions of child abuse and neglect. Reports of child maltreatment reveal little about the interactions among individuals, families, communities, and society that lead to such incidents. The services required for children who have been abused or neglected, including medical care, family counseling, foster care, and specialized education. Addressing this public health problem will require an immediate, coordinated research response that is grounded in the complex environments and systems within which child abuse and neglect occurs and that has high-level federal.