HARRISBURG, Pa., April 27, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The decline in both reported and substantiated cases of child abuse in Pennsylvania in 2010, along with a decline in injuries and fatalities from child abuse, are evidence that progress is being made, but the battle is far from won, Angela Liddle, executive director of the Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance (PFSA) said today.
"We are encouraged by the 2010 Annual Child Abuse Report issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare (DPW)," Liddle said, "but this should not be cause to let down our guard or let our effort to combat child abuse wane—just the opposite. We can see that we're making a difference. We should redouble our efforts."
According to the newly posted DPW report, 24,615 reports of suspected child and student abuse were received in 2010, a decrease of 727 reports from 2009, while 3,656 reports of suspected child and student abuse were substantiated, 287 fewer than in 2009.
The report said 33 Pennsylvania children died from abuse in 2010, 10 fewer than in 2009. Injuries totaled 4,810, down from 4,966 in 2009.
Liddle said that what she found most encouraging was that mandated reporters made up 77 percent of all referrals for substantiated reports.
"We have focused a great deal of our energy on the training of mandated reporters—those whose professions bring them into regular contact with children—and we can see that this investment is paying off."
The DPW report said schools had the highest number of total reports from mandated reporters.
Liddle pointed out that PFSA is currently supporting state legislation—Senate Bill 449—that would require training for teachers and other education professionals in identifying and reporting child abuse.
"We can see that this is an area where we can work effectively to continue to make inroads against child abuse, and we intend to intensify this focus," she said.
PFSA provides training on recognizing and reporting suspected child abuse and neglect through schools, early childhood education centers, religious institutions, and social service agencies.
It annually trains an estimated 8,000 individuals who work with or around children in how to recognize and report suspected child abuse.
PFSA is the Pennsylvania sponsor of The Front Porch Project®, a community-based training initiative that educates the general public about how to protect children from abuse. PFSA also works with more than 50 affiliate agencies across Pennsylvania to provide information, educational materials, and programs that teach and support good parenting practices.
Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance
Protecting children from abuse
Training for professionals
Support for families
Education for communities
Visit the PFSA website at www.pa-fsa.org
SOURCE PA Family Support Alliance