|Linked Problems: Poverty, Alcohol/Drug Abuse, Family Collapse, Domestic Violence, Educational Outcomes|
By Bob Weaver
April is Child Abuse Preventon Month.
Calhoun County has the highest number of child abuse and neglect cases among regional counties, according to a statistic provided by WV Kids Count.
The 2009 Kids Count statistic shows the number of cases per 1000 children based on a three year average.
Calhoun had 43.9 cases per 1000 children.
Braxton and Clay just behind with 41.5 and Clay with 41.2 cases per 1000.
Gilmer had 34.9 cases per 1000; Wirt 28.6 cases per 1000; Ritchie 21.6 cases per 1000; Roane 14.3 cases per 1000.
Calhoun was among five counties in the state with the highest number of cases: Wyoming 50.3; Monroe 50.2; Grant 45.2; Pocahontas 45.0 and Calhoun 43.9.
The Calhoun court docket generally lists large numbers of juvenile neglect and abuse cases, often four times more that adult cases.
The 2009 Kids Count statistics, a composite or average from several years, it appears that some regions and counties are more agressive than others with children protective services.
"Differences in reporting procedures over the years prevent comparison of rates between counties and trends over time, said Kids Count.
The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources says they will be providing more recent and detailed statistics related to abuse and neglect.
Teen birthrates have declined in every state in the USA from 2007 through 2009 except West Virginia, which had a 17 percent increase, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Leading the state, Calhoun, Clay, McDowell, Mingo and Tyler counties have an average of 93.3 births per 1,000 females ages 15 to 19.
Officials with the agencies issuing the statistics say the disturbing numbers are linked to poverty, family collapse, domestic violence, alcohol and drug use and educational outcomes.
CALHOUN-CLAY AMONG FIVE WV COUNTIES LEADING NATION IN TEEN CHILDBIRTH
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE MOST FREQUENTLY COMMITTED CRIME - "Elephant In Room" Problem Often Goes Unreported