WASHINGTON, D.C. (WDTN) — Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) is pushing for bipartisan legislation with Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) that would require states to report data on call child abuse-related deaths.
Brown’s bill comes after several high-profile child abuse deaths in Ohio, including the death of 22-month-old Rylee Sellars and 10-year-old Takoda Collins.
The bill, according to Brown, would also provide policymakers and public health officials with a clearer picture of the number of child abuse fatalities that occur and allow states to collect important information to better assess when and why child abuse fatalities occur.
“Right now, too many Ohio kids are slipping through the cracks. To prevent more of these tragic deaths, we must have complete and accurate data. It’s time to treat child abuse prevention as the public health issue that it is, and tailor our response to meet the needs of families in Ohio and around the country,” said Brown.
In 2019, the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS) estimated that approximately 1,840 children died from abuse and neglect. That’s up from the estimated 1,720 in 2017.
The federal Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities (CECANF) indicated in its 2017 final report that NCANDS data does not fully capture the entire number of child abuse fatalities and recommended significant reforms.