Just one day before a child was beaten to death in North Texas while in the care of an adult guardian, a group from Cook Children's Hospital Systems reported statistics about child abuse and other children’s health issues to Wise County leaders and residents, last week in Decatur, Texas. The statistics were results of a six-county survey mailed out to more than 21,100 households with children 0-14 years old, of which 7,439 surveys were completed and returned.
“Last year, 280 Texas children died because of abuse or neglect at the hands of their parents or guardians, and 68,326 children were confirmed victims of abuse or neglect,” states the home page of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, www.dfps.state.tx.us.
There is no certain way to know exactly how many children are actually suffering on a daily basis due to this atrocity.
Today, more obvious efforts are being taken to stop child abuse, than in days of old. Entertainers encourage their audiences to report incidents, advertising Web sites to visit and phone numbers to call. Television commercials and billboards can be seen randomly. Governor Rick Perry even recently proclaimed April as Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Month.
With all these efforts, all apparent roads for reporting child abuse still point to state child protective agencies.
Recently, a local single mother attempted to acquire childcare assistance from the Wise County branch of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. There was laughter in the background, and the mother was transferred numerous times before speaking with someone “who may know,” the answer to her question.
The state worker on the other end of the line did not know where to refer her, but when the mother asked about assistance from North Central Texas Workforce, the worker said, “Yes, but you will have to call that agency. We don’t have anything to do with them.” Then the mother asked for the phone number which she said was not readily available.
She is not the only individual who has ever found difficulties in dealing with the organization commonly known as CPS. However, CPS agents are the only ones who can legally do anything about those types of abusive situations. To report child abuse, call 1-800-252-5400.
To report the agency, call The Office of Consumer Affairs at 1-800-720-7777.