Child Fatalities

Child Fatalities

With 110 child abuse and neglect deaths in five years, a third of them under the watch of the Massachusetts DCF, the state is failing to protect its most vulnerable. Our investigation reveals the ways the government has struggled to learn from this tragic toll.


INFOGRAPHIC: An interactive look at Massachusetts child abuse and neglect deaths

Small uptick in Mass. child deaths due to abuse, neglect

Thirteen Massachusetts children died of abuse and neglect at the hands of their caretakers in 2016, according to newly released data by the state...

Child maltreatment deaths drop in 2015, state says

The number of Massachusetts’s children whose deaths were linked to abuse and neglect dropped by more than half in 2015 from the year before, according to data released late Thursday by state officials.

Out of the shadows: Child maltreatment deaths drop, but suicide of...

The number of children who died from abuse and neglect in Massachusetts fell sharply in 2014. Did the drop reflect improved vigilance or just good luck?

Justice delayed in life and in death

Dozens of cases of children who died of abuse and neglect in Massachusetts over the last six years remain unresolved. Investigations into their death are often hampered by delays in obtaining death rulings and frequent difficulties determining exactly how kids died.

Gov. Baker eliminates controversial DCF two-tier system for at-risk children

The new system will require social workers to investigate safety risks of all at-risk children in the same way and then determine how best to respond.

Gov. Baker unveils DCF reforms to ‘keep kids safe’

Gov. Charlie Baker announced today system-wide reforms in the troubled state Department of Children and Families – including policies to better assess safety risks to vulnerable children from the first calls of trouble to the closure of a case.

Out of the shadows

Child abuse and neglect deaths are on the rise in Massachusetts. But with 110 such deaths in five years, a third of them under the watch of DCF, the state is failing to learn from the tragic toll.

Information denied, children endangered

Massachusetts is one of only two states in the U.S. that did not provide timely child fatality data for a 2013 federal report. NECIR’s effort to obtain data illustrates the protracted challenges in extracting such information.

Critics blast BU doctor for child abuse defense

A Boston University doctor's testimony that a rare genetic disease, not parental wrongdoing, is leading to children’s bone fractures is prompting concern among pediatricians who say he has no scientific proof and is providing cover to potentially dangerous parents.