CHENANGO COUNTY – Today marks the start of Child Abuse Prevention Month and, in light of the widespread presence of child abuse in Chenango County, the Department of Social Services is reaching out to county officials to have an official proclamation announced later this month.
DSS disclosed that nearly 1,000 reports of child abuse were received in 2014, keeping in trend with a growing number of child abuse reports over the last several years. In terms of population, that figure raises a lot of red flags, explained Deputy DSS Commissioner Daniel Auwarter.
“Chenango County has a significant prevalence of it, unfortunately,” Auwarter said. “That’s a pretty significant population ... It’s a serious thing to bring attention to, and April is the time of the year when we try to make the community aware of what’s going on.”
Of the nearly 1,000 reports received, approximately 35 percent were validated by an investigation through DSS and other community partners, meaning that roughly 650 reports were received which could not be validated due to reasons that range from false reports to lack of information gathered during an investigation.