Child abuse fatalities are rising, especially in Texas and Indiana, according to recent reports.
The United States Department of Health and Human Services released a Child Maltreatment 2016 report in early February 2018. The report, which covers the 2016 fiscal year, shows a 7 percent increase in child deaths related to abuse when compared to 2015.
The 49 states that participated reported 1,700 fatalities as a result of child maltreatment. In 2015, there were 1,589 fatalities reported, according to a news release.
“Helping state child welfare agencies prevent and address child abuse and neglect is one of our top priorities this year,” said Steven Wagner, acting assistant secretary for children and families at ACF, in a news release. “Collaborating with state child protective services helps us collect case-level data to better understand what’s occurring in a home when a child is neglected or abused.”
Of the total 3.5 million children who were the subject of an investigation during 2016, about 676,000 of them are victims of abuse and neglect, according to a news release. This is an overall 1 percent decrease from 2015.
The number of neglected children decreased from 2015 to 2016, however, there are a growing amount sexual abuse victims.
The number of reported fatalities were significantly higher in Texas and Indiana for 2016 when compared to 2015. In Texas, the number of children who died from child abuse grew from 162 to 217. In Indiana, fatalities rose from 34 to 70.
Other states with more than 50 child fatalities in 2016 include Michigan, New York, Ohio, Illinois, and Georgia. Another state on the list is Florida, with a staggering amount of 110 reported child fatalities.
“To be effective in reducing the incidence of child abuse and neglect, service providers need access to a range of support services that help to strengthen the protective capacities of families and increase flexibility of providers to tailor child welfare intervention to the needs of individual children,” said Jerry Milner, acting commissioner of the Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF) and associate commissioner at the Children’s Bureau, in a news release.
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