Child abuse and neglect on the rise in Adams County - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Child abuse and neglect on the rise in Adams County

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QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -

New numbers out show more Tri-State children are being abused.

A report by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services shows child abuse rising sharply in downstate counties.

In Adams County alone, there were 184 child abuse and neglect cases. That number is more than double the statewide county average.

(Click here for a county breakdown from DCFS)

Brooke Linenfelser is a therapist at Chaddock in Quincy, a residential center that focuses on adolescent abuse and neglect. Linenfelser said a common misconception about child abuse and neglect is that it only happens in poor households.

"Abuse and neglect can be seen across the board of socioeconomic al families. I mean you can see a wealthier family having issues to a lower income family," said Linenfelser.  

Linenfelser believes the poor economy is the biggest driving factor in the rise of child abuse cases.

"The parents are under a lot more stress and it can heighten all the anxiety in the home," said Linenfelser.

Linenfelser said often times a lack of money can lead to crime, including drug use.

"There mind isn't really at the home and taking care of the children, so you might see an increase in abuse and neglect in those families," said Linenfelser.  

Master Sergeant Pat Fraizer of the West Central Illinois Task Force says the spike in child abuse doesn't surprise him, because he sees endangered children often while investigating drug cases.

"We come in contact with the people that have children, so obviously they are in these environments. When we work these cases a lot of these people are parents and the kids are present and living in this environment so it doesn't surprise me that it is increased," said Fraizer.  

 If you suspect child abuse or neglect you are urged to call the abuse hotline at 1-800-25-abuse.

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