neglect

Families & Community
7:00 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Michigan's rate of child abuse and neglect: bad and getting worse

Most of the new abuse and neglect cases in Michigan affect children under the age of one, according to the Michigan League for Public Policy.
Credit Michigan League for Public Policy

Child abuse and neglect appear to be increasing in Michigan. A new report from the Michigan League for Public Policy says more than 33,000 children in Michigan were victims of abuse or neglect in 2011. That’s an 18 percent increase compared to 2005.

There is a dispute over the exact size of the increase. 

"We’re not saying that there isn’t an uptick," says Dave Akerly, spokesman for the Michigan Department of Human Services. "We’re saying that from our standpoint, we believe that the uptick isn’t as dramatic as it would appear to be."

He says the numbers in the Michigan League report are a little misleading because a lot changed at DHS between 2005 and 2011. One of the things that changed is how cases get reported.

So, Akerly says instead of there being a huge increase in abuse and neglect, we may just be seeing a more accurate picture of abuse and neglect.

And no matter how you look at that, it’s an ugly picture.

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