By Amy Wadas

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Data uncovered by our news partners at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette revealed a big surge in the number of child abuse reports in Allegheny County.

Reports show Allegheny County had the largest surge in the state.

An annual report by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services shows the number of child abuse reports per 1,000 children was at 11.68 in 2015.

Last year, that number spiked to 13.43.

Allegheny County’s youth agency spent nearly $50 million in child abuse investigations and other services last year, which was the highest total in the state.

The Post-Gazette reports that county agencies have seen a large spike in total reports since 2014, when the state assed a series of laws following the Jerry Sandusky scandal.

The scandal broadened the state’s definition of child abuse. After the laws went into effect, child protection experts worried that a large increase in reports would strain county agencies and case workers.

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