Va. Cities Investigate Few Child Abuse Complaints

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - City social service agencies in Virginia don't investigate many of the child abuse complaints that they receive. An analysis of records by The Virginian-Pilot shows that city agencies statewide investigated 17 percent of 467,445 complaints received between June 2009 and September 2013. Forty percent of the complaints weren't accepted for following up by child protective services workers. Most of the complaints that were followed up on ended up in family assessment. Family assessment means social workers visit the family but don't take steps to set up a formal case. In cases that are investigated, social workers determine whether there is abuse. Mary Walter with the state Department of Social Services says cities could choose to investigate every case. But she says money and resources are limited. Information from: The Virginian-Pilot, Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.