New York City's public advocate issued a report on dozens of children who have died in the last few years in families with a history of neglect or abuse, says the New York Times. In more than half the cases, the families had been the subject of at least three complaints, and in some instances, there had been more than 10. "That says we are missing an opportunity to intervene as early as possible," says public advocate Bill deBlasio.
In one case, a medically fragile 3-year-old was entrusted to her grandmother, who had been reported 13 times for complaints. In another, a 5-year-old boy whose family had been reported five times was beaten to death by his mother. The public advocate's analysis presents a sobering view of the city's performance in protecting abused, neglected and at-risk children. In 2011, the child welfare agency investigated complaints involving 88,191 children. Almost 4,000 were removed from their homes. DeBlasio's report commemorated the sixth anniversary of the death of Nixzmary Brown, a 7-year-old girl whose brutal beating by her stepfather, which came after city workers missed several warning signs of abuse, prompted the city to overhaul the child welfare system.