Los Angeles County Sees Sharp Decline in Child Abuse Deaths

The number of children in Los Angeles County who have died as a result of abuse or neglect has dipped to its lowest level since the county began releasing such statistics, officials said Monday. While one child death is always one too many, officials and experts expressed optimism towards the new figures.

"I think it's pretty clear evidence that we're on track," said Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe.

There were 32 children killed as a result of neglect or abuse in 2014—down from 61 the previous year. That represents the lowest level since 2008, when a state law required the county to begin providing the figures.

The new statistics coincide with an overhaul of the county’s child welfare system which includes increased training for social workers and the placement of more children in foster care. But experts say there is far more work to be done, noting that county supervisors have still not implemented many of the recommendations issued by the Blue Ribbon on Child Protection last year. They also caution that the numbers could increase slightly as they await more reports from the coroner.

Read more about the new figures and reform efforts here.


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