Henrico County, along with metro-Richmond and other localities statewide may have to contend with additional budget cuts, this time to their Child Advocacy Centers.
Governor Bob Mc Donnell wants to eliminate $1 million in state funding to Child Abuse Centers. He received a quick response from child advocacy proponents, citing the damage that would result.
Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN), a non-profit group working with CAC are vocal in saying the cuts will cripple their ability to help children across the state. Ian E. Danielson, Director of the Richmond Center, said physical and sexual abuse of children is still epidemic.
Governor McDonnell answered by saying while he agrees it is a good service, it’s a question of having to set priorities and make the best decisions in what is a tough budget time.
Richmond’s SCAN is the regions only Child Advocacy Center. It not only serves the city of Richmond, but it’s surrounding counties. In 2011, it served 273 children. Statewide, with a total of 17 CAC Centers, 3,733 children were served.
Based on reports from 2011, in Virginia alone, a child is abused every 75 minutes, and a child dies from abuse or neglect every 14 days. In the year 2010, 48,916 Virginia children were reported as possible victims of physical, emotional or sexual abuse and neglect.
And 6,234 of these cases were “founded” reports, meaning that from examination of the facts and information gathered, they met the standards of evidence required in Virginia.
Figures for the year 2011 show that for Henrico County, the average number of abused children came to 2.1 per 1,000 people. In Richmond, the figures are 3.2 per 1,000.
The Virginia Department of Social Services released figures by locality for the period 7-1-2010 through 6-31-2011 for child abuse in the state. It was eye-opening to discover that Henrico County and the city of Richmond were almost the same in numbers.
The figures shown are for physical and sexual abuse only. They do not cover other forms of abuse or neglect. The period covered is 7-1-2010 through 6-31-2011.
- Richmond- 1061 cases, accepted-674, Investigated- 97, Founded- 37.
- Henrico- 1400 cases, accepted-643, Investigated- 81, Founded- 59.
- Richmond- 155 cases, accepted-97, Investigated-95, Founded- 26.
- Henrico- 153 cases, accepted-74, Investigated-69, Founded- 23
The figures above represent real, living, breathing children that need the community’s help. Any reduction in funding for programs that affect the children of Virginia is something that needs to be considered very carefully.