Pennsylvania child abuse numbers released

Written by Radio Pennsylvania | May 7, 2017 9:49 AM

(Harrisburg) -- The Department of Human Services has issued its 2016 report on child abuse in Pennsylvania. 

The report shows that 46 children in Pennsylvania died from abuse last year, up from 36 the previous year.  In the majority of cases, a parent was responsible.

Deputy DHS Secretary Cathy Utz says there are two main areas of reporting, Child Protective Services where an allegation of abuse is investigated, and General Protective Services.

"Many of the children and families that are served in Pennsylvania's child welfare system are served through General Protective Services and really you're looking at that being a way to intervene sooner so that you can prevent cases from escalating to a more serious nature," she said.

The report says for every one thousand children in Pennsylvania, there were 1.7 substantiated reports of abuse in 2016, compared to 1.6 per thousand the previous year.

The report also shows it takes investigators an average of six days to complete an abuse background check, well below the department's goal of 14. 

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