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"Best WV County" Worst for Child Abuse

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March 30, 2007


Monroe County has been listed as one of the 100 best communities in America for youth this year - but it's a hollow bragging right in light of new data from KIDS COUNT that shows the county is listed as the worst in the state for child abuse and neglect. Shirley Hall with the Family Resource Network says the explanation for the high number of abuse cases may be related to money. She notes Monroe County has seen a rising number of families with absolutely no income.

"I can see this being related because if they move in with a relative, or someone, there's more tension and more strain. So, I just think it adds to the problem."

Hall believes income and child well-being is not just a Monroe County issue, it's connected throughout the state. She adds there's no easy solution, but the income link to child abuse and neglect should be investigated by the state and federal governments. Families dealing with disability or chronic unemployment can fall through the cracks of public assistance system.

"This has been happening for some time where we've seen families with no income, and it seemed like the numbers were increasing."

Deborah Smith/Eric Mack, Public News Service - WV