The Indiana Youth Institute says the state leads the nation in methamphetamine-related cases, and that may be causing a spike in child abuse.
The IYI says that increases in drug use around the state have a strong correlation with child abuse and neglect cases. According to the Youth Institute, parents that are abusing drugs or alcohol are three times more likely to abuse or neglect their children.
Drug abuse often leads to the children being taken-in by the Department of Child Services with very few resources available to them.
In Starke County, the rate of children being abused or neglected as a result of a parent with a drug or alcohol problem saw a dramatic spike in 2014. That’s the last time period data is available.
According to the information provided by the Indiana Youth Institute, Starke County saw 18.4 children abused or neglected out of 1-thousand children, on average. That’s significantly more than the 2010 rate of 10.8.
Through the last five years of data, Starke County’s biggest problem appears to be neglect cases. That compares to smaller figures such as physical abuse and sexual abuse.
The Department of Child Services also reported a 70-percent spike in their children in need of services cases in 2014.