Child abuse statistics were up slightly last year in Chester County, but they remain less than half the statewide average and resulted in no deaths, though one child nearly died.
The latest numbers come from the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services’ 2016 Annual Child Protective Services Report.
In Chester County, child abuse was substantiated in 79 cases out of 983 reports, a rate of 0.7 children per 1,000. Both numbers are less than half the state average of 1.7 abused children per 1,000 and 16.3 reports per thousand. In 2015, 932 reports produced 58 substantiated cases.
Only three other counties had lower substantiated child abuse rates: Bucks, Montgomery, and Allegheny.
Last year, Chester County spent $1.9 million investigating those child abuse reports. The state as a whole spent $233 million.
Just shy of half of all perpetrators of child abuse in the state are parents, with a parent’s lover or relative causing another quarter of all cases. Nearly half of all cases are also sexual abuse, followed by physical abuse at 30 percent.
Read more about the reality of child abuse in Chester County and statewide in the full report here.