NBC Southern California reported today that the records obtained by NBC4 show sixty-three children died in Los Angeles County as a result of abuse and neglect since January 2012. Several of these children had current or prior involvement with child protection services before their death. "For the most part, our social workers are very confident in what they do and if they feel the child is not safe in the home, then they won't remain in the home,"said Armand Montiel, spokesman for the Department of Children and Family Services or DCFS.
Why then, did so many of these horribly abused and neglected children remain in their home and lose their lives to such tragedy? According to the third edition of "We Can Do Better-Child Abuse Deaths in America" (Every Child Matters, National Coalition to End Child Abuse Deaths, 2012), which thoroughly examines the research and statistics on child abuse deaths, 15,510 children died from child abuse and neglect between 2001 and 2010. Each year our country fails to protect societies most vulnerable and without some kind of direct, immediate child welfare reform and restructuring of child protective services, children will continue to die.
The discussion of protecting our country's children needs to be held at a national level in order for real action and change to arise. Herbart Ward said it best when he stated “Child abuse casts a shadow the length of a lifetime.” The insane number of lives lost, families ruined, and billions of dollars spent each year should be reason enough for individuals to take immediate action and find out how they can get involved in fighting the war against child abuse.