The newest national child welfare report has documented an unsettling increase in the number of Black children who died of suspected abuse or neglect, despite a smaller number of such cases being investigated due to the onset of the pandemic. Federal data in the 2020 Child Maltreatment Report documented cases that were covered from October 2019 to September 2020. The resulting data showed that, although there was a 4 percent decrease in child abuse deaths and fatalities related to neglect, there was an approximate 17 percent increase in the number of Black children who died, as compared to last year’s report. A total of 504 Black children—73 more than the previous year—showed that Black children are now three times more likely than white children to die of alleged abuse or neglect, the report said. The Associated Press reported Tuesday that the data captured an overall dip in the number of child abuse reports and investigations, especially in the earliest days of the pandemic. The report showed the extent to which “COVID-19 exposed gaps in our human services delivery system,” a spokesperson with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement.
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