Child abuse is a horrible problem across the Unites States and worldwide. Many times, it goes unnoticed or ignored by those that come into contact with the victims or abusers. In some cases, it is reported, as was the case when a father found a video of his children’s mother abusing the kids. When a case is reported, there is a lot of faith that the states and the Department of Family and Protective Services will handle the situations appropriately and ensure they are reported. Recent findings have revealed that the state of Texas has misrepresented their reporting of hundreds of child abuse and neglect cases, all of which ended in fatalities, in their publicly revealed numbers.
According to the Courier, a total of 655 child-abuse related fatalities were not publicly reported. The lack of reporting occurred despite proof that the children were abused or neglected, many cases a combination of both. The reports were not filed due to caseworkers deciding that the abuses were not the direct cause of the fatality, but rather just an element that contributed. Texas state law does not require that the numbers be publicly disclosed, and some government officials are looking to change that. Senator Carlos Uresti, a Democrat from San Antonio, wants to see the law changed.
“I’m speechless. I want to know who these kids are. Every one of these kids has a name and has a story and would have had a life ahead of them.”
The Department of Family and Protective Services reported that they have always complied with all federal and state regulations regarding information that is to be reported, and that they were not attempting to hide any information in the process, according to RT TV. They also stated that all information regarding the abused children, including ages, genders, and types of abuse or neglect, has always been available to those that request it. However, until this point, no one has asked for the information.
The investigation, conducted by the Austin American-Statesman, looked into the issue over a six month time frame. Of the 800 child fatality reports they looked into, 655 of the children were victims of abuse. According to the Austin American-Statesman, CPS did not accurately track how often each child was visited before they died. This leads the investigators to believe that integral warning signs may have been missed due to a lack of observation.
According to the CPS, they are planning on changing their reporting strategy to include child fatalities in the future.
[Photo Courtesy: Faces of Child Abuse]