SFY 2014 – 66 Substantiated Child Fatalities from Abuse/Neglect

To view the latest Indiana Department of Child Services Annual Report of Child Fatalities for the State Fiscal Year (SFY) July 1, 2013 – June 30, 2014, please click here.

In SFY 2014, 66 child fatalities were substantiated for abuse or neglect via the fatality review process. Of the total fatalities, 12 (18%) were due to abuse, and 54 (82%) were due to neglect. Four of these children (6%) had prior history with DCS*.  

* Prior history is defined as: the victim had prior substantiated history as a victim.

In the case of abuse, 50 percent of these children were one year of age or younger, and in the case of neglect, 46 percent of these children were one year of age or younger. This finding demonstrates a consistent trend that young children are at the highest risk of abuse or neglect.

This Report also found head trauma was the primary injury in cases of abuse fatalities, and drowning was the primary contributor in neglect fatalities.

A pattern of stress factors was also revealed, with insufficient income and unemployment being a risk factor in 61 percent of both abuse and neglect cases combined. Additionally, substance abuse was a risk factor in 31 percent of abuse cases and 28 percent of neglect cases. The Report found domestic violence was a risk factor in 19 percent of abuse cases and 19 percent of neglect cases. These findings indicate continued societal/community-level issues that affect parents, and can contribute to an increased risk of child abuse or neglect in the home.*


* Perpetrators are not asked about specific stress factors. Information is obtained through the interview process. Perpetrators can exhibit multiple stress factors, yet may not reveal all of their stress factors.

Another pattern revealed in the report is abuse or neglect inflicted by the biological parent(s). The report shows, 63 percent of abuse fatalities and 77 percent of neglect fatalities were committed by the biological parent(s). Additionally, 31 percent of these abuse fatalities and 14 percent of the neglect fatalities were committed by the parent’s intimate partner or another relative.