Figures show mostly stable investigation numbers from 2012 to 2014, and then an increase of 800 investigations during 2015.
“There may be more community awareness, but we don’t otherwise see a trend going on,” Lindy Bryceson, DHHS field operations administrator, tells Nebraska Radio Network. “Sometimes when there is an incident that occurs in the media, that can cause a spike for us, but that’s usually a temporary spike.”
Bryceson says they want people to call in a report, if they suspect a child is in danger.
Of the 13,000 calls last year, the department substantiated 19% of those as abuse or neglect, but all calls are are recorded and kept on file.
“So if we receive an additional report, that may be added information or sometimes when we have two different reporters calling in and both have concerns, one of them just may say enough that that is now going to cause us to accept this as an investigation,” Bryceson says.
In Nebraska, everyone is a mandatory reporter if they suspect a child is being abused or neglected. Calls to the Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline at 1-800-652-1999 are anonymous.
Year Child Abuse & Neglect Investigations