The Palm Beach County Department of Children and Families, which investigates allegations of child abuse, reported that child deaths due to abuse or neglect are up from the previous 2 years in contrast with the overall decline in child deaths across the state of Florida. This is a 40% increase since 2009; whereas, the state’s numbers have shrunk by 30%.
The decrease has been credited to proactive child abuse prevention programs, while the increase in Palm Beach County has been mostly attributed to cases of child abuse and severe neglect that led to drowning, head trauma and other accidents.
Of the child deaths reported inPalm BeachCountyin 2010, 6 were due to gunshots, 5 were the cause of drowning, 2 children died from unsafe sleep, 1 from inadequate supervision, and 1 from head trauma.
National statistics show that 1,537 child fatalities occurred in 2010 due to child abuse. Out of those fatalities, about 79% were caused by the parent. Reports conclude that roughly 23% of the fatalities were from physical abuse and approximately 33% were attributed to neglect.FloridaandTexashad the highest overall number of child deaths in 2010 compared to other states. Montana and Alaska had the lowest number; neither state had any fatalities.
The strained economy could be a reason for neglect as many parents work several jobs to make ends meet, which means more time away from home and their children or they are not making any money at all to care for their families.
Unfortunately, plans to cut funding for counseling and rehabilitation services in Palm Beach County prevent these at-risk parents and children from getting the help they need. If you see child abuse happening, it is important you can get in touch with the Department of Children and Families. If it has happened to your child, find a lawyer who will pursue justice.