The Minnesota Department of Human Services is reporting a significant rise in child abuse cases. Assistant Commissioner Jim Koppel says just under 39-thousand-500 children were the subject of maltreatment reports in 2017. That’s a 25-percent increase from 2016. Around 40 percent of the kids are age five or younger and more than 22 percent were under three. Koppel says the opioid epidemic and other substance abuse have contributed significantly to the rise in child protection reports. Last year was the first time that category surpassed neglect as the main reason to open a case.
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