Washington Post: Connecting dots on child abuse to save lives

Kaydence Lewinski, 5 months old, shaken and beaten to death; Angela Palmer, 4, burned to death; Brianna Blackmond, 23 months, beaten to death; Samuel and Solomon Simms, 6-year-old twins, strangled; Jaydon Hoberg, 17 months, raped and beaten to death; Chandler Grafner, 7, starved to death; Prince McLeod Rams, 15 months, drowned.

These horrific cases from different times and different parts of the country, like hundreds of other incidents each year in which children die as the result of abuse and neglect, attracted attention. Grisly details of the children’s deaths generated headlines and sometimes action — a person arrested, a case worker blamed, an agency director fired, a local law changed.

What has been lacking is a systematic examination of policies and processes or the development of a comprehensive strategy to prevent such deaths. That may change with establishment of a national commission that will evaluate prevention and intervention efforts and recommend how federal, state and local agencies can strengthen protections for children and vulnerable families.

Read the rest of the op-ed at the Washington Post.