Thursday, February 19, 2009

Some attribute child abuse spike to recession

Readers.. don't for a second think I'm posting this article for face value.

We all know child abuse IS NOT on the rise..

However.. CHILD ABUSE CLAIMS ARE ON THE RISE.. removal of safe children from good homes is REALLY whats on the rise..

Don't believe me? Follow the money oh ye easily fooled one!

Title IV Federal Funding goes to the states per "child or woman they save" yeah ok save.. my

They should say .. for every false child abuse claim they can muster up.. and make up reasons to remove perfectly healthy and safe children from good homes... and for every false D.V restraing order they can get filed!

Meanwhile REAL ABUSED women like myself like Jessica Gonzalez like Karlene Gordon and MANY OTHERS get ignored while the ones that file false allegations get the royal treatment?

Oh yeah.. I think I've got it.. they're willing to play the game.. and we're not.. yep that sounds about right! )&^$%$ them all I'll never "play" the game.. this is real life no time for games wake up people!

How is it that the general public still believes this BS?

Some attribute child abuse spike to recession

The stream of abused children into Nassau University Medical Center is relentless and growing.

But what's more disturbing, says the East Meadow hospital's child abuse specialist, Dr. Bella Silecchia, is a shift in their problems: long-untreated broken bones, severe malnourishment and children who "are homeless and out stealing and begging."

"I have no hard proof, but my feeling is this is related to the economy," Silecchia said. "I come from Brooklyn, that's where I was trained, and this is what we used to see in the city, not [in one of the richest counties] in the country."

Nassau Child Protective Services investigated record numbers of child abuse and neglect reports last year, a 9 percent increase that county officials and some social workers attribute in part to the recession.

"It's the economy, that's the No. 1 reason," said Cynthia Scott, executive director of the Coalition Against Child Abuse and Neglect, based in Garden City.

Officials with the state and Suffolk - both of which also had record child abuse and neglect cases - aren't so sure, citing other factors like high-profile cases and a change in state law.

But other counties, cities and states have begun asking the same question as Nassau: "Is the increase in child abuse and neglect reports related to the economy?" said Connie Hayek, director of national data analysis at the Child Welfare League of America.

On Thursday, the league sent out a survey to child welfare agencies in all 50 states, asking about abuse and neglect reports, how many were substantiated and whether applications had jumped for programs such as food stamps or welfare.

"I wanted to get at what's happening on the ground," Hayek said. "It is known that unemployment is correlated with child abuse and neglect."

John Imhof, Nassau commissioner of the Department of Social Services, said he also ordered a data review to see if a concrete link can be made between the recession and the spike in child abuse cases.

And yet the "hard proof" linking the spike to the economy may be hard to come by, some child welfare experts say.

After the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, when the economy soured and unemployment rose 1 point, child abuse and neglect reports decreased in 2002, according to the federal Administration for Children and Families.

"In general, I don't think you're going to see some huge spike in numbers because of the economy," said Julie Altman, an associate professor at the Adelphi University School of Social Work. She noted that abuse and neglect reports have, generally, been increasing nationwide for the past six years.

In New York and Long Island, abuse reports have fluctuated, hitting a record high in 2008 of about 17,000 in Nassau and Suffolk and more than 160,000 statewide. That spike came as Long Island's welfare rolls hit the highest level since 1999, state records show.

For now, county officials like Imhof are relying on anecdotes from caseworkers and nonprofit agencies, which suggest that abuse and neglect cases more often come with a back story of financial stress at home.

Silecchia said she is seeing more unexplained broken bones in children age 3 and younger. Their guardians are often single mothers, she said, or fathers "who are not working, who are home all the time, men who may have lost their jobs."

Scott said: "A lot of these parents are unemployed. ... They're worried about, 'Do I pay the rent or put food on the table,' and then you have a crying baby."

Just when advocates say child abuse prevention programs are needed most, a sputtering economy likely means they will be cut. Gov. David A. Paterson has proposed a 25 percent cut to Healthy Families New York, which has an office in Bay Shore and helps young, low-income parents find infant medical care, manage domestic problems and get jobs.

"The choice to cut that funding ... is recklessly putting children in harm's way," said Jennifer Matrazzo, a spokeswoman for Albany-based Prevent Child Abuse.

Edward Borges, spokesman for the New York State Office of Children and Family Services, which pays for Healthy Families New York, said: "The state is facing a $15 billion budget deficit, forcing us to go through all our programs and to look for some savings."

Making the connection

Poverty and financial stress. The two leading causes of child abuse and neglect are more widespread during a recession.

No job, no health care. Uninsured parents are more likely to delay medical care for their children, which can result in being accused of medical neglect.

Reduced supervision. Financially unstable parents often have less time to watch their children, leading to more reports of inadequate guardianship.

Emotional problems. Parents with substance abuse problems and depression - more prevalent during bad economic times - are more likely to physically abuse children.

Government's role. Fiscal woes often result in cuts to child abuse prevention programs.

Some attribute child abuse spike to recession --

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