Annual report shows fewer child abuse deaths in Indiana
by Stephanie Wiechmann
February 28, 2012
A new annual state report out today says fewer Indiana children died from abuse or neglect in fiscal year 2010. The report from the state Department of Child Services shows that 25 children died as a result of abuse or neglect from July 1, 2009, to June 30, 2010. That’s a decrease from 38 deaths in fiscal year 2009.
In a press release accompanying the annual report, agency director James Payne praises the department’s centralized call center in Indianapolis, which he says is helping the department be more effective. But it was this call center that Indiana House Democrats targeted in a news conference late last week. House Minority Leader Patrick Bauer says the centralized call center causes cases to slip through the cracks.
From 2003 to 2006, Indiana saw more than 50 child abuse and neglect deaths each fiscal year. This year, 22 of the 25 deaths recorded were of children younger than five. Seventeen cases involved children under age three.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.