Matt Rocheleau and Andy Rosen of "The Boston Globe" reported as follows:
"Massachusetts reported the highest rate of abused and neglected children in the nation in fiscal year 2014 and had nearly the same number of victimized children the following year, according to newly released state and federal figures.
The sharp increase in reported abuse cases comes amid a string of high-profile cases of children who died or were severely injured — some while being overseen by the state’s child welfare agency.
Massachusetts tallied 31,863 victimized children in the federal government’s fiscal 2014, which concluded at the end of September 2014, according to a report by the US Department of Health and Human Services. That equaled 22.9 victims per 1,000 children statewide, making it the highest per capita rate in the country.
The next-highest rates of reported child abuse were in Kentucky (20.6), Rhode Island (16), New York (15.5), and New Mexico (15.2).
In the fiscal year ended in September 2015, the state tallied 31,114 victims, or 22.4 per 1,000 children.
National figures are not yet available for the more recent year.
State officials attributed the increased number of reported cases to greater public awareness and State officials attributed the increased number of reported cases to greater public awareness and increased vigilance by the state..."