HARRISBURG (KDKA) – Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale is voicing concern over a new report on child abuse.
The annual report from the Department of Human Services found 46 children died from abuse in Pennsylvania last year, an increase from the previous year.READ MORE: COVID-19 In Pennsylvania: State Health Department Reports 1,730 New Cases, 38 Additional Deaths
“I am horrified,” DePasquale said. “One child dying from abuse is too many; 46 is unconscionable.”
In addition, the report cited 79 substantiated near-fatalities across Pennsylvania last year.
In Allegheny County, there were three child abuse fatalities and 13 near-fatalities last year. Child abuse deaths were also reported in Armstrong, Fayette, Indiana, Lawrence and Westmoreland Counties.READ MORE: Man Arrested On Arson Charges In Spaghetti And Steakhouse Restaurant Fire
DePasquale says child protective services agencies are struggling to meet demands for services.
“There is something systemically wrong if children and youth agencies don’t have the resources to be able to fulfill their primary responsibility of protecting children,” DePasquale said.
The report states that more than $232.7 million was spent by state and county agencies to investigate reports of suspected child abuse, with the bulk of that money being spent by counties.MORE NEWS: Victor Steban, Captured For Questioning In Westmoreland Co. Double Homicide, Found To Have Lengthy Criminal History