For a child to lose their life for any reason is an immense tragedy in itself, but hearing that our Black boys and girls are dying at increasing rates brings things to a different level of disturbing.
New data suggests that child welfare services were severely affected by the global pandemic after the revelation that 504 Black children died between October 2019 to September 2020 at a 17% increase compared to the previous year.
The unfortunate news came by way of the 2020 Child Maltreatment Report, which was made public last week by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. According to AP News, the new data suggests that Black children are now three times more likely to die of suspected child abuse or neglect compared to their white counterparts. Although the report showed a 4% decrease in child abuse and neglect-related deaths, experts say that isn’t exactly positive news and it may just be a reflection of underreported abuse and/or death due to the fact that many children were out of sight during the pandemic’s peak.
More info on this alarming story below, via AP News:
“The federal data confirm a drop by hundreds of thousands in documented cases of child abuse reports, investigations, substantiated allegations and support for at-risk families. But experts say that’s not necessarily good news — children were out of the public eye during the pandemic, and some cases likely weren’t reported until they became more severe, if at all.
The numbers on fatalities in particular are concerning, because such cases are notoriously underreported, said Amy Harfeld, of the Children’s Advocacy Institute. Social workers often investigate a child’s death only if the family had already been involved with a child welfare agency.
‘The numbers that we know of are not reflective of the numbers that are experienced,’ Harfeld said.”
While it goes without saying that something has to be done in order to reverse these results, acting assistant secretary for the Administration for Children and Families JooYeun Chang went on record as saying, “While the data in today’s report shows a decrease in child maltreatment, there is still work to do.”
Let’s pray that for the sake of our future, this is an issue we can eliminate as a community by simply showing more love to our youth.
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