Sharp Rise in Child Abuse Adds Burdens to Welfare Workers

Society Lifestyle

Tokyo, Feb. 12 (Jiji Press)--A sharp rise in child abuse has added burdens to welfare workers and other staff at child consultation centers across Japan, where a 10-year-old girl died in a high-profile case.

A child consultation center in Kashiwa, Chiba Prefecture, eastern Japan, is under fire for failing to save the girl, Mia Kurihara, though it recognized abuse risks. Her parents were arrested on suspicion of injuring her.

Child consultation centers in Japan handled 133,800 possible abuse cases in fiscal 2017, according to welfare ministry data. The figure was twice the fiscal 2012 level, with more reports coming from the police reflecting the heightened public awareness of child abuse.

Meanwhile, the number of child welfare workers at such centers increased only about 20 pct over the same period.

"Burdens on center staff are heavier than ever," an expert said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press