March 27, 2014 Comments Off on Child Abuse: The Deadly Cost of Inattention and Inaction
Child Abuse: The Deadly Cost of Inattention and Inaction
Bruce Lesley 03/26/2014
The Miami Herald series entitled “Innocents Lost” deserves a Pulitzer Prize for its investigation into 477 deaths of children that were a part of the child welfare system in the State of Florida over the past six years. More than 70 percent of the children who died were two years old or younger and completely defenseless.
The series reinforces two critical but basic responsibilities that we, as a society, owe children facing abuse and neglect:
First, we must strengthen families by preventing abuse and neglect whenever possible.
Second, we must take swift but thoughtful action that gives children the best possible chance to grow up in a safe, stable, loving and supportive permanent home.
The series also highlights another critical fact: money matters and the lives of our nation’s most vulnerable children cannot be protected on the cheap….
However, as the Miami Herald documents, Florida embraced “family preservation” on the cheap. While the number of children in foster care dropped from 30,200 to 18,185 during a period that featured the Great Recession and increased family stress and difficulties, the state simultaneously and tragically slashed family monitoring and support services, resulting in more children left with substance abusing, neglectful, and violent parents. Tough times are the most important times to protect children, but Florida (and as noted later, the federal government) took the opposite approach during the last few years.
According to Audra D.S. Burch and Carol Marbin Miller of the Miami Herald, while Florida’s overall state spending increased by $10 billion from 2005 to 2013, child welfare funding was cut by the Legislature by $80 million and grew to $100 million after Governor Rick Scott’s vetoes last year. And, while “either drugs or alcohol came up in 323 of the child deaths,” the state also “reduced funding for drug treatment.”
For children, the consequences were tragic. As the Daytona Beach News-Journal concluded, “…the state tried to do it on the cheap… Hundreds of children paid with their lives.”….
December 14, 2012 Comments Off on 25 celebs probed by Savile cops, Child Abuse Drops Fifth Straight Year
25 celebs probed by Savile cops
At least six more high profile figures ‘to be arrested in coming weeks’ 10th December 2012
SAVILE cops are investigating claims of alleged sex offences against a staggering 25 celebrities.
The high-profile names are said to be mostly television and radio entertainers, with at least six expected to be arrested in the coming weeks. They are named in a list of tip-offs to Operation Yewtree – the police inquiry set up in the wake of the Jimmy Savile sex abuse revelations. A source said: “They all tend to be white men of the Savile generation”.
The 25 celebrities are understood to have been named in phone calls to the police or to charities. Some victims will not be identified or press charges, making it difficult for the police to proceed. But cops believe there is enough evidence for at least a dozen celebrities to be detained….
About 450 potential victims have come forward since inquiry began two months ago, Scotland Yard said….
Child Abuse Drops for Fifth Straight Year
By DAVID CRARY AP National Writer
NEW YORK December 12, 2012 (AP)
Reports of child abuse and neglect have dropped nationwide for the fifth consecutive year, and abuse-related child fatalities also are at a five-year low, according to new federal statistics.
The latest annual report from the Department of Health and Human Services, released Wednesday, estimates that there were 681,000 cases of child abuse or neglect across the nation in the 2011 fiscal year. That’s down from 695,000 in 2010 and from 723,000 in 2007.
“We have made excellent progress over the past five years,” said George Sheldon, HHS acting assistant secretary for children and families. “But what this report tells me is that we still have 681,000 children out there who need our help.”
The number of abuse-related fatalities was estimated at 1,570 — down from 1,580 in 2010 and from 1,720 in 2007. About fourfifths of those killed were younger than 4, and parents were deemed responsible for nearly four-fifths of the deaths….
Fewer Child Abuse and Neglect Incidents for Fifth Straight Year
December 12, 2012 | ACF Public Affairs
Picture of child hiding behind door with text: Child Abuse and Neglect in DeclineThe number of reported child abuse and neglect incidents has dropped nationwide for the fifth consecutive year, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families (ACF)….
53.6 percent of the abusers were women.
48.4 percent were Caucasian, 20.2 percent were African-American, and 19.2 percent were Hispanic.
80.8 percent of the abusers were the victim’s parent.
Of the children who were reported as maltreatment victims, 11.2 percent were physically or mentally disabled….
October 2, 2012 Comments Off on Small Upswing in Child Abuse Despite Reports, Abuse of smallest babies may have risen, study finds
Small Upswing in Child Abuse Despite Reports
By Crystal Phend, Senior Staff Writer, MedPage Today
October 01, 2012
Reviewed by Robert Jasmer, MD; Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco and Dorothy Caputo, MA, BSN, RN, Nurse Planner
A national study found that serious injuries from child abuse appear to have risen modestly over the past decade or so, and suggested that downward trends in other studies of abuse may reflect reporting changes rather than real improvement.
Hospitalization for abuse-related injury rose 4.9% overall among children 18 and under over the 12-year span from 1997 through 2009, wrote John Leventhal, MD, and Julie Gaither, RN, MPH, MPhil, both of Yale University in New Haven, Conn.
Children were increasingly likely to die from these injuries before discharge as well, they reported in the November issue of Pediatrics.
However, “these results are in sharp contrast to data from child protective services,” they noted. A national reporting system from these agencies indicated a 55% decline in substantiated child abuse cases from 1992 through 2009.
A second more extensive report by the Congress-mandated National Incidence Studies suggested a 23% decline in physical abuse.
While called evidence of “positive changes in the provision of services to children and families, there have been concerns that some of this decrease may be due to changes in reporting of cases to child protective services agencies and changes in which cases get investigated by child protective services and which cases are actually substantiated as physical abuse,” Leventhal and Gaither wrote….
Abuse of smallest babies may have risen, study finds
By Maggie Fox, NBC News 9/30/12
A new look at child abuse reports suggests there may have been a small but worrying rise in injuries to babies over the past decade or so. While most research suggests child abuse is down overall, the report published on Monday in the journal Pediatrics shows infants are far from safe.
The study contradicts government data collected over the same time, and it shows that health officials need to take a better look at whether child abuse is getting better, worse or staying the same, experts said.
“I think it’s premature to make any conclusions about whether it is going up or down,” says Dr. James Anderst, chief of the section on child abuse and neglect at Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics in Kansas City, Mo., who was not involved in the study. “Medical providers may be getting better at identifying abuse over time.”….
Child abuse is a serious problem in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says more than 740,000 children and youth are treated in hospital emergency departments for injuries resulting from violence every year.
“Child abuse, neglect or violence can actually affect the development of a child’s brain – impacting the child now and for years to come. Our Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study shows a connection between child maltreatment and some of the nation’s worst health problems, including depression and heart disease,” CDC child abuse expert Linda Degutis says in a blog on the agency’s website….