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Despite fewer children living in poverty, cases of child abuse increase over last decade

kids hands playing
Sven Brandsma

New data from the Michigan League for Public Policy finds fewer Michigan children live in poverty today than a decade ago. However, there’s been a sharp rise in investigations and confirmed cases of child abuse and neglect. Since 2010, the number children in investigated families has increased nearly 72%, and confirmed cases are up by one-third.

Kids Count director Kelsey Perdue says those figures don’t account for the recent social stress of the coronavirus.

“So, we already had a lot of work to do, and as we consider how do we recover from this crisis, it’s really an opportunity to re-set and reconsider who and what our priorities are," Perdue said. "It needs to be children and families.”

Other issues such as food insecurity and elementary literacy rates remain top concerns that Perdue says should be reflected in state budget priorities.

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