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Child abuse reports rising in past 2 years

– A top official at Indiana’s child protection agency says the state’s reported cases of child abuse and neglect grew 15 percent during the past two years.

Department of Child Services Chief of Staff John Ryan tells WRTV-TV that the agency received about 151,000 reports in 2011, and 173,000 in 2012.

Ryan says the increase could mean more neglect is being reported. Less than a fifth of those reports have been substantiated.

Agency spokeswoman Stephanie McFarland says the figures are accurate but aren’t compiled in a formal report.

She says consistent counts of reports have been available only since a statewide child abuse hotline started in 2010.

Figures show that Indiana had 360 abuse-related child deaths between 2003 and 2010, the latest year for which numbers are available.