Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Play

The Inflation Reduction Act is signed into law, Florida educators decry classroom politicization, and Colorado River water for Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada will be cut as reservoir levels drop.

Play

President Biden signs Inflation Reduction Act, voters cast primary election ballots in Alaska and Wyoming, and Republicans are calling for the FBI to be defunded, in the wake of the agency's search of Mar-a-Lago.

Play

Infrastructure funding is on its way, ranchers anticipate money from the Inflation Reduction Act, and rural America is becoming more diverse, but you wouldn't know it by looking at the leadership.

Report: Child-Abuse Cases in PA Rose in 2020

Play

Wednesday, December 8, 2021   

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- With kids stuck at home early in the pandemic, a new report said child-abuse cases decreased in 2020, but children's advocates say it is likely a result of the abuse going undocumented, and there is work to be done to better respond to children's needs during a public-health crisis.

Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children's annual State of Child Welfare report showed nearly 33,000 fewer cases of child abuse or neglect in 2020 than the previous year, a 22% decrease. But this year, the number of abuse cases investigated and substantiated was at its highest in the last five years.

Rachel Miller, policy director at Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children, said it is cause for concern.

"As stay-at-home orders were implemented, children were moved to virtual learning and having less contact with those mandated reporters, such as teachers or medical professionals," Miller explained. "And we saw a direct correlation to a significant decrease in mandated reporting trends."

Pennsylvania's Department of Human Services (DHS) data from 2021 on child-abuse reports, investigations, and foster care will not be available until 2022. Miller predicts the state will likely see an increase in kids entering foster care or staying longer in the system as a result of mandated reporting making a comeback.

The report also included policy recommendations, such as investing in the Child Protective Services workforce, which has seen high turnover due to low pay and burnout exacerbated by the pandemic.

Miller argued the skilled workers are critical to preventing child abuse and intervening when abuse is detected.

"Child-welfare staff are essential employees," Miller contended. "Those staff shortages lead to workers carrying high caseloads where they can barely do the bare minimum, let alone meet any of the other important outcomes for children like conducting thorough investigations, preventing placement and ensuring permanency."

She added the Pennsylvania Partnerships report has been shared with DHS. Other recommendations included creating a statewide case management system and addressing racial inequity in child protective services and foster care.

Disclosure: Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children/KIDS COUNT contributes to our fund for reporting on Children's Issues, Early Childhood Education, Education, and Health Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
Lake Mead has been downgraded to a Level 2a water shortage, leading to cuts in water deliveries in 2023. (SpaceEconomist192/Wikimedia Commons)

Environment

Nevada is set to lose 8% of its Colorado River water allotment next year because of perilously low water levels at Lakes Mead and Powell caused by a 2…


Environment

Although President Joe Biden has signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law, many are hoping he will declare a climate emergency to provide further …

Environment

The Bureau of Land Management is kicking off its planning process for managing Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument with several public hearing…


In the past two years, Iowa's Secretary of State says they've made contact with roughly 17,000 people interested in becoming poll workers for elections. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The midterm elections are less than three months away, and in Iowa, recruiting continues for those interested in helping at polling sites, where the …

Social Issues

As Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis defends and expands his call to have military veterans bypass the teacher certification process to become educators…

The Inflation Reduction Act allows Medicare to negotiate drug prices for the first time in two decades. (JohnBlottman/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

President Joe Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law Tuesday, providing a means for making prescription drug prices more affordable in the …

Health and Wellness

A relatively new virus known as monkeypox has made its way to the state of Washington. About 280 cases have been reported, with 240 occurring in King …

Health and Wellness

Coloradans struggling economically put their health at risk when they decide not to turn on cooling systems, frequently out of fear of not being able …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021