Topeka Gov. Sam Brownback on Thursday said instances of child abuse could be reduced by publicly reporting county-by-county child abuse statistics.
He said that would prompt questions and drive actions on the local level to focus on child abuse, which he described as “one of the great plagues of society.”
Brownback said his administration was going to regularly publicize county-by-county child abuse numbers.
He also said a key factor in reducing child abuse was improving the economy. When parents do well, he said, children do well.
His comments were made before more than 500 people at the 35th annual Governor’s Conference for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect at the Ramada Hotel and Convention Center.
From July through the end of September, Kansas recorded 14,850 Children in Need of Care reports, according to the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services. SRS reports the information on its website and breaks it down by county. In Douglas County during that period there were 458 CINC reports, which is about 3 percent of the statewide total.
Dona Booe, chief executive officer and president of the Kansas Children’s Service League, said that nationally in 2009, 1,800 children died from child abuse.
“That’s a tragedy that we cannot continue to let happen,” Booe said.
She said helping people become “successful” parents would reduce child abuse. That requires helping them learn to nurture children, to become resilient to stresses in life, to be connected to communities and to be economically stable, she said.