Fatality rate has also climbed steeply in past few years
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Colorado appears to be bucking a national trend, and not in a good way.
Child abuse and neglect is declining in much of the country, but increasing in Colorado, according to a recent report from the Colorado Department of Human Services.
Similar increases in Summit County child welfare cases reported last May also raised concerns among local officials. Read a story on the Summit County numbers here.
In 2009, the number of maltreated children rose by 641, up to 11,339 from 10,698 the year before. Looking back two years, the rate of increase is even more dramatic, with the number of abused or neglected children climbing by 1,236 from 2007 to 2008.
The state’s child fatality rate attributed to child abuse and neglect has also increased for the past several years, with 36 deaths last year, up from 32 the prior year, 27 the year before and 24 the year before that according to the same 2009 DHS report.
“The suffering and death of so many children is a tragedy for our community,” said Dr. Andrew Sirotnak, Interim Director of The Kempe Center, director of Kempe’s Child Protection Team and Professor of Pediatrics in the University of Colorado School of Medicine. “Our increased attention to the problem of child maltreatment and for its prevention is reaching a crisis point again in our state. We must work together to protect the most vulnerable in our state.”
The majority of The Kempe Center direct service programs increased the number of children served last year as well. For example, the Child Protection Team treated 494 children; a more than a 22 percent increase from the previous year. Overall, the Center saw a 13.5 percent increase in services provided when compared to the prior year.
Filed under: Colorado, Health Tagged: | Child abuse and neglect, Children Youth and Family, Colorado, Colorado Department of Human Services, Colorado news, National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, Pediatrics, Summit County News