Child abuse death rate up 71 percent (A 1999 report)


AUSTIN – Child abuse and neglect in Texas led to 176 deaths last year, up some 71 percent from the year before, according to a report released Wednesday.

Source: Child abuse death rate up 71 percent | Amarillo.com | Amarillo Globe-News

 

Child abuse death rate up 71 percent

Posted: Thursday, January 07, 1999
STEPHANIE ELIZONDO GRIEST
The Associated Press

AUSTIN – Child abuse and neglect in Texas led to 176 deaths last year, up some 71 percent from the year before, according to a report released Wednesday.

The Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services blamed the sharp increase on a lack of resources and overburdened child caseworkers.

Agency officials called on the public for help.

“Protecting children is more than just one state agency can do,” said Jim Hine, the department’s executive director.

“We all need to be aware of clear risk factors: Abuse of drugs or alcohol in a family, immature parents without parenting skills, or parents who put their personal needs above the needs of their child,” he said.

More than two-thirds of the children who died were minorities; nearly three-fourths were age 3 or younger.

The report came as no shock to District Judge Scott McCown, who last October warned of inadequate child abuse investigations.

Child Protective Services may investigate some 100,000 reports of abused and neglected children a year, but McCown issued a 42-page petition saying that was still only 60 percent of all allegations in 1997-98.

The judge also noted that Texas ranked 30th among 35 states reporting data on removing children from abusive or neglectful homes in 1996.

“These children are either going to fund our Social Security or fill our prisons, and it all depends on how we respond to their needs as children,” said McCown, who has presided over 1,400 cases involving 2,500 children since becoming a judge in 1989.

Child welfare officials proposed hiring more caseworkers and improving their training so at-risk children are better identified.

“A lot of these workers are out of college, and there is no special degree required,” said Jane Piper, executive director of Texas CASA, a group of court-appointed volunteer advocates for abused children.

“They are asked to oversee too many cases, and they are not given enough supervision or training,” she added.

Wednesday’s report cited one proposal to limit case loads to about 20 families per worker. Texas case workers currently juggle 24 families, which is twice the amount recommended by the Child Welfare League of America.

There was also a recommendation to raise case worker salaries. Starting salary in Texas is about $23,000 a year, and more than one in three entry-level case workers leave in search of a less stressful profession.

That is nearly three times the turnover rate for other state employees, Hine said.

“We propose a three-prong approach: reduce case worker turnover, increase the amount of training, and give them more tools to do their job – be it laptops, cell phones or whatever,” he said.

The report caught the attention of lawmakers such as Rep. Arthur Reyna, D-San Antonio, who described it as more bad news.

“The bottom line is that a child has to almost be at risk of severe injury or death before any measures will be taken,” said Reyna, a lawyer who serves on the House Juvenile Justice and Family Issues Committee.

“When it comes to children, there is no point where government should not be involved in protecting them. That is why kids have to wear seatbelts and helmets. We make distinctions to protect children because they can’t protect themselves,” he said.

About Jim Black

Jim Black is the founder of Angel Eyes over Texas (AEovrT). Jim is a former Manufacturing Engineer turned CPS Watchdog. Jim spent more than 32 years studying manufacturing companies, their procedures and the proper application of their resources with heavy emphasis on Quality Control, Automated Systems and Resource Management. Now those same skills are applied toward analyzing Texas DFPS and it's functions; breaking down the mechanics of how the agency fails to follow the policies, statutes and rules set forth by the State of Texas. Jim tracks all changes to the Texas CPS Handbook on www.aeovrt.org. Jim often consults with CPS defense attorneys on handbook research.
This entry was posted in CPS Paradigm Shift, Eyes on Texas, Falsifying Records, In the News Texas, Texas DFPS. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Child abuse death rate up 71 percent (A 1999 report)

  1. squeekarose says:

    However, having a government involved as they say such as with helmets and seat belts because the children don’t know better. Also, the government wants to have even more control for these young parents who are ” immature” as they put it. Well, my concern is, what about the parents that do know better? I mean, if there is a report made against me but I simply have a different parenting technique then what the government thinks I should have, does that give them an all access pass into my life and to judge and pull children from a home simply because the ” government ” thinks that it’s in my children’s best interest. What then? So my take on it is that all parents will be held at the same exact level even if you are a parent that always puts their children first , there will be one rule for all ” no matter what” because the ” government said so!! Besides the obvious, anyone that has dealt with any kind of protection agency knows how one sided it can be and if someone is abusing their power as a case worker, and u complain, your just a child neglector or parent that is guilty long before any evidence or trial!! There isn’t anyone to govern the ” government” so maybe that’s the some of the problem??? They won’t ever say that though!! They will say ” just throw more money or ” tools” at it and that should work for a awhile! It’s a never ending battle uphill where everyone loses.

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  2. Carla farrell says:

    CPS took my one and only grandson Monday and adopting him out. CPS got away with theft of my grandson. They forced my kids to sign their rights over!!! Hie can they get by with this??!

    Like

  3. patricia says:

    I was a foster mom for 5 years helping to take care of foster children and loved every moment of it and then when my husband die my adopted son told cps that I abused and neglected him and my adopted daughter who was his half sister.CPS loved me until he lied and then they try to prove me insane. CPS is a joke that steals children and sells them to the highest bidder. My lawyer did not like me because I said my son was a liar. I never abused them and the state took my children’s social security away so I lost my home and land because I could not make the payments. I ask my lawyer to take it to trial and she refuse. My whole community was proof that I never abused them and that made CPS mad. My son told me to give my daughter away and when he refused he told the lied. If I could find a lawyer to take my case that could take his fees out of the winnings I have all my paperwork to prove how they railroads me and even try to take my children permanently away from me.. I am now on the cho
    Old abuse registry based on the lied of my son who is no longer my son but I did get my daughter back because I told them I would go public to expose them if they tried to keep her from me. She is scarred for the rest of her life from what her brother did.

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