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Number of kids leaving family due to maltreatment on rise

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Prague, May 19 (CTK) – About 1,400 children had to leave their home to stay with relatives, foster parents, or in institutional care due to maltreatment, abuse or neglect last year, and their number has been annually rising, according to a report issued by the Labour and Social Affairs Ministry.

The number of cases the Czech child welfare service deals with has also been increasing. It rose almost five times in the past ten years, from 1,990 in 2005 to 9,433 in 2015, the report says.

Experts say the increase is due to the rising attentiveness of people in the children’s surroundings.

Out of the 9,433 cases of maltreated, abused or neglected children registered last year, 4,641 involved boys and 4,792 girls.

A total of 680 boys and 719 girls had to leave their home and go to their, foster families, asylum homes or children’s homes.

Two boys and four girls died of maltreatment last year, and 187 children were hospitalised.

Forty-five boys and 59 girls suffered a bodily harm, 315 children were hit by post-traumatic stress disorder. Thirty-seven girls got pregnant as a result of sexual abuse.

In 2014, the authorities dealt with 8,487 such cases, and 1,248 children had to leave their home. Six children died, 140 were hospitalised, 96 suffered a bodily harm and 667 post-traumatic stress disorder. Forty-seven girls got pregnant.

In 2013, the numbers reached 7,527 and 1,015 respectively.

Senator and Our Child Foundation head Zuzana Baudysova previously said Czech society still views a violent treatment of children as part of their upbringing.

Nevertheless, the rising number of the cases the authorities deal with shows that people have become more attentive and sensitive, Baudysova said.

Experts say many children would not have to be taken away from their families at all if their families received support and help in time.

If taken away from their family, children should rejoin it as soon as the problems are solved, or they should be placed in a step family as quickly as possible, experts say.

The Labour and Social Affairs Ministry plans to enhance, also financially, the system of the state help to families.

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