According to the 2014 U.S. Government Accountability Office Report, 44.1% of children younger than the age of 1 year were victims of maltreatment, linking this to their death. The same year, 33.6% of children between the ages of 1 to 3 years died from abuse and neglect. Some of these young victims suffered repeated abuse over a period of time at the hands of their parents. Fatal child neglect may also be the result of poor supervision or how the caregiver failed to act swiftly and appropriately.
Child abuse occurs in households of all economic classes and ethnicities. Ending child abuse will require a global effort. Reporting suspected abuse is everyone’s responsibility and it is the only way to combat physical and sexual child abuse. If you are a resident of Prince George’s County, Maryland and want to make a report of suspected abuse and neglect, you should contact the local Department of Social Services (see below for phone number & address). Maltreatment includes anything from sexual exploitation, to physical or emotional harm.
Professionals (health practitioners, educators, and law enforcement) are required under Maryland laws to make an oral report to the LDSS. If the professional feels that the child is imminent danger, a report must also be made to the local law enforcement agency. Reporting is also recommended for those that wish to remain anonymous and you can do this by calling 911 or the Community Crises Services HelpLine (see below for phone number).
The Department of Social Services is not only responsible for investigating every written and oral report, but they also intervene when necessary. Each case is screened and investigated thoroughly, before determining whether or not to remove the child(ren) from the residence. If possible, the Agency will choose to work with a multi-disciplinary team to devise a plan and put it into effect, preventing such drastic actions from being taken. The key is to prevent re-victimization of the system, but provide adequate support and services to parents, grandparents, and legal guardians.
According to AFCARS (Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System), in 2014 there were 415,129 children living in foster care. These children’s ages range from less than 1 year to 20 years, with 52% being male and 48% female.
Prince George’s County Department of Social Services
805 Brightseat Road
Landover, Maryland 20785
Hours: Mon-Fri 8am – 5pm
Community Crisis Services, Inc.
Hours: 24-hours, 7 days a week