Wood County child abuse reports set record in ‘22


A record was set for child abuse investigations in 2022 in Wood County.

The commissioners heard a year-end report by Wood County Job and Family Services at Thursday’s meeting.

There were 969 investigations of neglect, drugs and physical and sexual abuse reports involving children last year, said Dave Wigent, JFS director.

“That’s the highest number of investigations we’ve ever completed,” he said.

Cases had declined during the pandemic.

“It dropped statewide because kids weren’t in school and they weren’t in sports and weren’t seeing their counselors,” Wigent said. “Now that we’re out of that, we’re back to the grind on numbers.”

Also during the pandemic, staffing was beefed up, he said.

“While our numbers our climbing, we still feel like we have enough staff to handle it,” Wigent said.

Brandy Laux, assessments supervisor for JFS, said that cases in 2022 increased by 100 over the previous year.

Neglect is the always the top category, totalling 210 cases last year, she said.

There were 207 cases involving drugs, 131 alleging physical abuse and 126 involving sex abuse, Laux said.

The cases reported were also more severe, she said.

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