When police agencies respond to suspected child abuse cases, they are supposed to report the incidents to social service agencies, and visa versa, she said.
“There was never an efficient way to do that,” Robison said.
To better report suspected child abuse cases, the district attorney’s office received a $2-million grant to establish an electronic system so that the county’s 47 police agencies could cross report those incidents with the Department of Children and Family Services, Robison said.
The system officially went online last year.
“It’s a more efficient way to monitor suspected child abuse and to hopefully get intervention early as opposed to when nobody knows and it’s too late,” Robison said.
Eight reported incidents of child abuse last year in Glendale were severe enough to be considered aggravated assaults, Lorenz said.
But many of the suspected child abuse incidents were not as severe, he said.
The county social service agency often gets reports of abuse through its anonymous tip line and those cases are reported to the Department of Justice, the agency’s spokeswoman Susan Jakubowski said.
In 2008, 795 children in Glendale were investigated by the agency for child abuse and neglect, Jakubowski said. That number decreased to 698 children last year, she said.
In the past, only 5% of law enforcement agencies were cross reporting, Jakubowski said. Not reporting creates large liability issues, she said.
“It’s always been the law, it just hasn’t always been followed,” she said.