necn Investigates: Child Deaths From Abuse and Neglect Decline | NECN
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necn Investigates: Child Deaths From Abuse and Neglect Decline

Last year, 10 children died from abuse or neglect - down more than 50 percent from the year before

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Last year, 10 children in Massachusetts died from abuse or neglect. (Published Friday, Nov. 11, 2016)

    Massachusetts made sweeping changes to the Department of Children and Families last year after a number of children died under state watch.

    necn investigates has been tracking child abuse and neglect deaths, and we've just received the latest numbers.

    Last year, 10 children died from abuse or neglect – down more than 50 percent from the year before.

    According to state records, 70 percent (7 out of 10) of the children were at some point under the watch of DCF social workers. That's the highest it's been in nearly a decade.

    Of the 10 children who died, the state ruled that three died in unsafe sleep situations, two drowned, one died of heatstroke, another was physically assaulted, and three infants were medically neglected, including a 6-day-old newborn who was born extremely premature with drugs in her system.

    The state cautions these numbers could rise, as there could still be open cases.

    While advocates tell us they're encouraged by the numbers, it's too soon to say if the drop in deaths can be attributed to the recent overhaul of DCF.

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