Indiana Statistics

SFY 2016 – 59 Substantiated Child Fatalities from Abuse/Neglect

To view the latest Indiana Department of Child Services Annual Report of Child Fatalities for the State Fiscal Year (SFY) July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016, please click here.

 

This report focuses on the deaths that were substantiated as a direct result of caregiver maltreatment or neglect during SFY 2016. Whether from maltreatment, poor judgment and/or lack of information and resources, many child deaths are preventable.

 

The report is compiled using data from the DCS database; this system categorizes fatalities by the major category of death and provides detailed information about cause of death to gain a clearer picture of the types of abuse and neglect that ultimately resulted in the loss of a child.

 

In SFY 2016, 59 child fatalities were substantiated for abuse or neglect during the fatality review process – a decrease from 77 substantiated abuse/neglect child deaths in last year’s report. Of the total fatalities covered by this report, 24 were due to abuse, and 35 were due to neglect.

In fatality cases involving abuse, 21 of the 24 (88 percent*) children were 3 years old or younger. In those involving neglect, 25 of the 35 (71 percent) children were 3 years of age or younger. This finding demonstrates a consistent trend (nationally and in Indiana) that young children are at the highest risk of abuse or neglect.

 

Marion County recorded the most child deaths caused by abuse or neglect of any Indiana County (14 fatalities) in the time period studied; the next-highest areas reporting fatalities were Allen, Elkhart and Tippecanoe counties, which reported three fatalities each. 25 of the fatalities (42 percent) covered in this report were determined to be accidental; 24 (41 percent) were declared homicides. An additional four fatalities (7 percent) were listed as the result of natural causes, and the manner of death was undetermined for six (10 percent) children. Nine had prior substantiated DCS history.

 

Head trauma was cited mostly commonly in abuse-related child fatalities, listed in 22 deaths (92 percent) in this report. Beating/kicking was connected to seven (29 percent of deaths), and gunshot wounds were listed as a contributing factor in two (8 percent) deaths.

Motor vehicle accidents (12 cases) were the highest cause of neglect-related deaths (34 percent). Meanwhile, asphyxia (8 cases, 23 percent) and drowning (six cases, 17 percent) were the next-most common causes of neglect-related deaths.

 

Biological parents were most often deemed responsible for the child fatalities detailed in this report. There were 33 perpetrators cited in abuse-related fatalities; of them, 20 (61 percent) were biological parents. There were 47 perpetrators cited in neglect-related fatalities; of them, 33 (70 percent) were biological parents.

 

In some cases, caregiver stressors were determined to play a role in the death of a child. Insufficient income was cited most commonly, denoted in 37 of the 55 cases. A history of substance abuse by the caregiver was the next-highest category, factoring into 21 child fatalities.

 

 


SFY 2015 – 77 Substantiated Child Fatalities from Abuse/Neglect

To view the latest Indiana Department of Child Services Annual Report of Child Fatalities for the State Fiscal Year (SFY) July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2015, please click here.

SFY 2015, 77 child fatalities were substantiated for abuse or neglect via the fatality re-view process. Of the total fatalities, 32 (42%) were due to abuse, and 45 (58%) were due to neglect. Four of these children (5%) had prior history with DCS*.  *Prior history is defined as: the victim had prior substantiated history as a victim.

In the case of abuse, 85 percent of these children were three years of age or younger, and in the case of neglect, 73 percent of these children were three years of age or younger. This finding demonstrates a consistent trend (nationally and in Indiana) that young children are at the highest risk of abuse or neglect.

This Report also finds head trauma was the primary injury in cases of abuse fatalities, and asphyxia is the primary contributor in neglect fatalities.

A pattern of stress factors was also revealed, with insufficient income and unemployment being a risk factor in 94 percent of neglect cases and 74 percent of abuse cases. Additionally, substance abuse was a risk factor in 46 percent of neglect cases and 17 percent of abuse cases.

The Report finds domestic violence was a risk factor in 20 percent of neglect cases and 19 percent of abuse cases. These findings indicate continued societal/community level issues that affect parents, and can contribute to an increased risk of child abuse or neglect in the home*.   *Perpetrators are not asked about specific stress factors. Information is obtained through the interview process. Perpetrators can exhibit multiple stress factors, yet may not reveal all of their stress factors.

Another pattern revealed in the report is abuse or neglect inflicted by the biological parent(s). The report shows, 84 percent of neglect fatalities and 68 percent of abuse fatalities were committed by the biological parent(s).

Additionally, 10 percent of these neglect fatalities and 26 percent of the abuse fatalities were committed by the parent’s intimate partner or another relative.

 


SFY 2014 – 66 Substantiated Child Fatalities from Abuse/Neglect

To view the latest Indiana Department of Child Services Annual Report of Child Fatalities for the State Fiscal Year (SFY) July 1, 2013 – June 30, 2014, please click here.

In SFY 2014, 66 child fatalities were substantiated for abuse or neglect via the fatality review process. Of the total fatalities, 12 (18%) were due to abuse, and 54 (82%) were due to neglect. Four of these children (6%) had prior history with DCS** Prior history is defined as: the victim had prior substantiated history as a victim.

In the case of abuse, 50 percent of these children were one year of age or younger, and in the case of neglect, 46 percent of these children were one year of age or younger. This finding demonstrates a consistent trend that young children are at the highest risk of abuse or neglect.

This Report also found head trauma was the primary injury in cases of abuse fatalities, and drowning was the primary contributor in neglect fatalities.

A pattern of stress factors was also revealed, with insufficient income and unemployment being a risk factor in 61 percent of both abuse and neglect cases combined. Additionally, substance abuse was a risk factor in 31 percent of abuse cases and 28 percent of neglect cases. The Report found domestic violence was a risk factor in 19 percent of abuse cases and 19 percent of neglect cases. These findings indicate continued societal/community-level issues that affect parents, and can contribute to an increased risk of child abuse or neglect in the home** Perpetrators are not asked about specific stress factors. Information is obtained through the interview process. Perpetrators can exhibit multiple stress factors, yet may not reveal all of their stress factors.

Another pattern revealed in the report is abuse or neglect inflicted by the biological parent(s). The report shows, 63 percent of abuse fatalities and 77 percent of neglect fatalities were committed by the biological parent(s). Additionally, 31 percent of these abuse fatalities and 14 percent of the neglect fatalities were committed by the parent’s intimate partner or another relative.

 


SFY 2013 – 49 Substantiated Child Fatalities from abuse/neglect

 

To view the latest Indiana Department of Child Services Annual Report of Child Fatalities for the State Fiscal Year (SFY) July 1, 2012 – June 30, 2013, please click here.

In SFY 2013, 49 child fatalities were substantiated for abuse or neglect via the fatality review process. Of the total fatalities, 14 (29%) were due to abuse and 35 (71%) were due to neglect.

In the case of abuse and neglect, 57% of these children were one year of age or younger. This finding demonstrates a consistent trend that young children are at the highest risk of abuse or neglect.

Their report also finds head trauma was the primary injury in cases of abuse fatalities and drowning is the primary contributor in neglect fatalities.

Another pattern revealed in the report is abuse or neglect was inflicted by the biological parent(s). The report shows, 50% of abuse fatalities and 60% of neglect fatalities were committed by the biological parent(s).

Additional 45% of these abuse fatalities and 21% of the neglect fatalities were committed by the parent’s intimate partner or another relative.

Another source of statistics can be found at KidsCount Data Center, just click here.

 

To see the number of Child Abuse/Neglect reports made:

Indiana Department of Child Services Hotline Report for 2014, click here.

Indiana Department of Child Services Hotline Report for 2015, click here.

 


2012 Indiana Child Abuse Statistics

Child Abuse/Neglect Reports: 177,382 with 20,008 substantiations
• 14,802 were from neglect
• 3,214 from sexual abuse
• 1,992 from physical abuse