The Child Protection Team (CPT) and the Florida Department of Children and Families investigate abuse cases in Jacksonville (Duval County), Florida and the surrounding North Florida area. Randall Alexander, a pediatrician in Jacksonville, Florida and the statewide director of the Child Protection Team, states that unemployment causes more adults to be at home which in turn increases the chances of abuse. Of course, this is a broad simplistic statement and theory that would be difficult to prove. Statistics are statistics though. The number of cases investigated by CPT increased 30 % from 2007 to 2008. CPT is mandated by Florida law to evaluate children who has suffered a head or neck injury, burns / fractures, and unexplained or suspicious bruises to children under the age of 5. CPT also is involved with matters involving sexual abuse, malnutrition / dehydration, medical neglect, and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) found in prepubescent children.
The economy can be blamed for many of the woes in our State and nation for that matter. Yes, financial stresses and job loss can lead to violence to children and neglect of children. However, it should be noted that wealthy and affluent parents and caregivers also abuse and neglect children.
You can read more about the statistics and incidents of child abuse and neglect in the Florida Times Union newspaper article – Florida Child Deaths Rise in Poor Economy.