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W.Va. child abuse cases rising after brief decline

May. 16, 2013 @ 08:11 AM

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia child-welfare officials say the number of active abuse and neglect cases has been climbing the past two years, but they’re handling fewer than they were five years ago.

The Department of Health and Human Resources took action on 1,569 cases in March. That’s down from an average of 2,300 cases per month in 2007.

The Charleston Daily Mail says the decline may be the result of a more comprehensive three-step system the state began using in 2010 to review complaints.

Kathie King of the Bureau for Children and Families says there may be fewer duplicate referrals now. The state is also investing more in prevention.

And King says some cases that used to be handled in-house are now contracted out if children aren’t in any immediate danger.

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