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ILLINOIS CHILD ABUSE/NEGLECT DEATH REPORT

CHICAGO, IL, JANUARY 16, 1997 -- Fiscal-Year 1996 statistics show a dramatic decrease in the number of children who died of child abuse and neglect in Illinois compared to the previous year. Illinois Department of Children and Family Services' statistics reveal 90 children died of abuse and neglect in FY96, compared with 95 child abuse and neglect deaths in FY95.
"While fewer children died in FY96 than in FY95, we cannot rest easy with any children dying of abuse or neglect, " DCFS Director Jess McDonald said. "What these numbers show is that children are still dying, most of them in the care of at least one of their parents, and that no single agency can provide all of the solutions for a problem so pervasive throughout our society."

Of the abuse/neglect deaths in FY96, one out of every six children had prior involvement with DCFS, while one of every four had prior involvement with DCFS in FY95. Deaths with prior involvement hit an all-time high in FY92, when one of every three children who died of child abuse and neglect had prior involvement with DCFS.

In Chicago, the state's largest urban area, the death statistics have declined to the lowest level of the decade. Twenty-nine children died of abuse or neglect during FY96, compared with 38 deaths in FY95. Deaths reached the highest level in FY91 with 47 child deaths due to abuse and neglect.

One of every seven children who died of abuse or neglect in FY96 had prior involvement with DCFS, compared with one out of every five in FY95.

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