Child Neglect Growing Problem

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Child Protective Services caseworker Jill Knott says neglect cases are more common than people think.

According to data from the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services in 2002, nearly 69% of the more than 5,500 cases of abuse and neglect involved physical or emotional neglect.

Officials say drug use has worsened the problem. Knott says in the case of methamphetamine, users lose all purpose for life, except to get more.

Knott says the sad thing is that there are always new situations which shock her, despite all that she has already seen.

She says the severity of the cases runs the gamut. Some are children found alone in a car, others are found living in filthy bug-infested home.

A recent case to make headlines is that of a 22-month old Lincoln boy who dies from electrocution. Police say he had been left without supervision in an unairconditioned bedroom for over two days.