Indiana reports decline in child abuse, neglect deaths

Child neglect and abuse fatalities fell by nearly a quarter, to 59, during its 2016 fiscal year, the Indiana Department of Child Services reported Wednesday.

The total for the 12 months ending June 30, 2016, compared with 77 during the previous fiscal year and 66 in fiscal 2014.

Of the 59 deaths, 24 resulted from abuse and 35 from neglect, the Journal Gazette of Fort Wayne reported.

The report found that 21 of the abuse deaths and 25 of the neglect deaths involved children 3 or younger. That illustrates a consistent trend nationally and in Indiana that young children are at the highest risk of abuse or neglect.

The report also said 25 deaths were determined to be accidental, 24 were homicides, four resulted from natural causes, and the rest were undetermined.

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