Reports of suspected child abuse surge in PA

Written by Matt Paul and Radio Pennsylvania | Jun 7, 2013 5:23 AM

(Harrisburg) -- Pennsylvania saw a record number of reports of suspected child abuse in 2012, but there was no corresponding increase in substantiated cases.

The 26,600 reports of suspected child abuse logged on the Department of Public Welfare's annual report represent a 9% increase over the previous year. However, DPW spokeswoman Anne Bale says the 35-hundred substantiated cases represent just a slight increase from 2011.

"It's about awareness right now. People -- and rightfully so -- are reporting things that they see that just don't seem right, and that's what needs to be done," Bale says. "It may not always result in a substantiated case of abuse, but we think it's important, and it's good news that people are calling out child abuse hotline."

You can reach the ChildLine at 1-800-932-0313.

Across the midstate, Lancaster County had the most substantiated cases of child abuse with 162, but its rate of 1.3-substantiated reports per 1,000 children is right on par with the state average.  That's the case for most counties in the area.  Rural Snyder County has the lowest rate, with just 0.6-substantiated cases per 1,000 kids.  Mifflin County's rate of 3.1 was the region's highest.

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