Neglect,Death,Foster care,Child abuse

Report: Despite efforts, 35 kids died in state care

February 10, 2017
in Kids

As many as 35 children died while in state care or custody last fiscal year — half of them less than a year old, including a dozen substance-exposed newborns, according to a new report that underscores the troubles still facing the state’s child welfare agency despite new funding. The report, released late Wednesday by the state Office of the Child Advocate, also showed sharp hikes in abuse and neglect allegations, as well as deaths, statewide. In all, 64 children receiving services from various state agencies died in fiscal 2016, which ran from July 2015 to June 2016. Another 68 died in fiscal 2015. The numbers marked significant hikes from previously available annual data — covering calendar year 2014 — when there were 40. But children under oversight of the Department of Children and Families accounted for the majority of the deaths. Of the 35 children who died under the agency’s watch last year, 17 were less than a year old, including a dozen newborns who had been exposed to controlled substances. Two others were just months old when they died of suspected physical abuse, the report states. “One death is too many, never mind 35,” said Jennifer Lane, president of the advocacy...

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