Friday, April 17, 2009
Child Abuse Spikes In Poor Economy
This is a news story I saw on Yahoo yesterday. Link to the entire article is here. I never thought about this correlation.
In a nutshell, the stress of job losses and financial strain is driving parents to the point that they take their anger out on their children in the form of severe physical abuse. Other situations are those of neglect, children who are being left alone or not receiving necessary medication for chronic conditions because parents can no longer afford the basics.
At one hospital in MA, they treated 16 children for "shaken-baby syndrome" in all of 2008. So far this year, she's already treated 25. Some parents are arrested and prosecuted, and their children put in the care of relatives or foster families. But overwhelmed and underfunded agencies are not able to keep pace with the rise. Many state agencies and hospital are grappling with the increases while facing budget cuts. In Massachusetts, for example, the Department of Children and Families in charge of protecting children from abuse expects to see its budget cut by $25 million in fiscal 2010.
Who will protect these children?? It breaks my heart.