A report published today in the journal of Pediatrics notes that more abused children have been hospitalized with traumatic head injuries since the economy started going down.
Here in Onondaga County, the Social Services Commissioner says yes, abuse cases are up, but he is not convinced that the economy is to blame. David Sutkowy says that in Central New York is more sensitized to reporting abuse because of a pair of high-profile abuse cases: the Erin Maxwell case in Oswego County, with a young girl dead despite - in hindsight - lots of signs of abuse, and in Syracuse the Imani Jennings case, with a baby dead and a caregiver found guilty of not reporting abuse. And, because there are more reports, there are more actual cases that need action.
Sutkowy says most of the cases here involve neglect: inadequate supervision of children, dirty living conditions, not enough food, but he says they're all serious, and 'we need to take seriously the issue of our our kids are being raised.'
He encourages all to use the New York State Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-342-3720 to report suspicions or concerns.