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Report says more than 11,600 Iowa kids abused or neglected

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A new report from the state says more than 11,600 Iowa children were subject to abuse or neglect in 2012, but overall reports and confirmation of child abuse have dropped.

Nearly 80 percent of all of the cases reported were for neglect, which the state defines as denial of critical care.  That number is similar to neglect cases reported in past years.

The Iowa Department of Human Services report said there was a five-percent drop in the number of Iowa children who were victims of an isolated incident which the state said was unlikely to re-occur and for which the perpetrator was not put on the state’s child abuse registry.   However, more than 8,800 of the cases in 2012 involved perpetrators who ended up being put on the child abuse registry.

The report said 92% of all abused or neglected children were abuse-free in the six months after abuse.

The report said state investigators assessed nearly 29,000 children for possible abuse or neglect in Iowa in 2012.  There are 186 DHS child protective workers in Iowa, and they are each assigned an average of 14 new cases per month.   The average case manager is working 27 cases at any single point in time.

About half of all abused or neglected children in Iowa are five years old or younger.