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Officials: Increase in child abuse reports isn’t surprising

August 4, 2019

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — The reported number of cases of abused children is rising in Maine, but officials say that’s not surprising.

A new report by the state’s Child Protective Services finds the state substantiated over 2,600 cases of child abuse or neglect in 2018, up from 2,160 in 2017.

The July report by the State Department of Health and Human Resources says new policy changes in 2018 led to more state assessments of suspected child mistreatment.

Maine Public reports that the state’s Child Welfare Ombudsman, Christine Alberi, says those numbers don’t necessarily signal an increased risk. She says the state’s now responding differently.

The state has revamped its call system and added a background check unit. Office of Child and Family Services Director Todd Landry says lawmakers authorized 62 new positions.

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