Texas in FY 2013 had 156 child abuse deaths

Austin Police Department vehicles

AUSTIN (AP) — A state agency reports Texas had 156 child deaths from abuse and neglect during fiscal 2013.

Figures released Tuesday by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services show that compares to 212 neglect-related child deaths in fiscal 2012.

Department spokesman Patrick Crimmins says agency officials really don’t know why fatality numbers vary from year to year. The 2013 numbers are based on an estimated statewide population of nearly 7.2 million children.

The Dallas Morning News reports Dallas County had 17 abuse- and neglect-related deaths of children in the fiscal year that ended last August. That compares to 11 child deaths in the previous fiscal year.

The Houston Chronicle reports Harris County had 24 child deaths in fiscal 2013 blamed on abuse and neglect, compared to 45 a year earlier.

The report comes at a time when CASA of Travis County is in desperate need of volunteers, as the Court Appointed Special Advocates of Travis County has seen a surge of new cases in the past month.

CASA needs the public’s help and time to be the voice for children who end up in the court system because there is domestic violence or drug abuse inside their home, resulting in their placement to a foster home.

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