State data: Substantiated child abuse claims rose in 2015

The Associated Press

HARRISBURG — New state data shows there were more than 4,200 substantiated child abuse claims last year, an increase of 863 from the year before.

. reports the state Department of Human Services report examined cases over a one-year period from 2014 to 2015.

The agency says sexual abuse accounted for 47 percent of the substantiated claims. There were also 34 confirmed child abuse-related deaths.

The percentage of confirmed abuse reports fell from 11.4 percent to 10.4 percent.

Girls accounted for more than 60 percent of the victims. Children living with single parents saw the highest instances of abuse.

Gov. Tom Wolf says laws recently implemented changed how state officials respond to child abuse. He says the reporting, investigation, assessment, prosecution and adjudication of abuse and neglect cases were all affected.