(AP) - Reports of child abuse and neglect in Indiana grew 15 percent
during the past two years, a top official in the state’s child
protection agency said.
of Child Services Chief of Staff John Ryan said the agency received about
151,000 reports in 2011, and 173,000 in 2012.
are up, but that doesn’t necessarily mean there’s more abuse or
neglect taking place,” Ryan told. “What it hopefully means is people
are more aware of abuse and neglect and are stepping forward and reporting
than a fifth of those reports are substantiated, Ryan said.
spokeswoman Stephanie McFarland told The Associated Press on Wednesday
that the figures are accurate, but she said the statistics aren’t
compiled in a formal report. Consistent figures have only been available
since a statewide child abuse hotline started in 2010 allowed the agency
to track reports in all 92 counties, she said.
the DCS was spun off as a separate agency from the Family and Social
Service Administration in 2005, the counties ran local child protection
offices and reports were compiled inconsistently, she said, adding there
was no centralized source for data until the hotline went into effect.
Calls to the hotline come from entities that are required to report
suspected abuse, such as police, hospitals and schools, and from concerned
agency tracks the types of abuse and other details but does not regularly
combine that information into reports, McFarland said.
show that Indiana had 360 abuse-related child deaths between 2003 and
2010, the latest year for which numbers are available.