Congress Pressed To Act To Curb Child-Abuse Deaths

Child-welfare advocates say the child abuse death rate in the United States is an embarrassment.

Experts and activists are mobilizing in Washington this week to demand expanded federal efforts, including more money and tougher oversight, to reverse a recent rise in the number of child abuse and neglect deaths.

Advocates point out the U.S. child-abuse death rate is far higher than other wealthy democracies. They cite the latest federal figures showing that an estimated 1,760 U.S. children died from abuse and neglect in 2007 -- up 35 percent from 2001.

Experts say recession-strapped states, meantime, are imposing budget cuts that affect child welfare programs.

The group Every Child Matters is releasing a report Wednesday contending that inadequate resources are stretching state child-protection agencies too thin.

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