Report to the Community
LCCS investigated 4857 allegations of abuse and neglect in 2021, up 4.6 percent from 2020. This increase can be likely be attributed to children’s mid-year return to school during the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting increase in reporting of abuse and neglect. These reports involved 6,375 children, up 4.3 percent from the previous year. A total of 1,828 of them were substantiated victims of abuse or neglect, down 4.2 percent from prior year.
LCCS served 13,580 children and 5,286 families in 2021. Seventy-two percent of children receiving services did so while living in their own home or in a kinship home. Sixty percent of cases were investigated using a “traditional” pathway, which resulted in a finding of substantiated, indicated, or unsubstantiated abuse or neglect. Twenty-nine percent of cases were handled with an “alternative response,” and 11 percent of cases were referred as a “family in need of services.”
The rate of children on child abuse and neglect referrals increased in all but five ZIP codes in Lucas County. The highest incidences of abuse occurred in the 43604 (Downtown), 43620 (Old West End), 43605 (East Toledo), 43610 (North Toledo), and 43609 (Old South End) neighborhoods. The overall rate of children on CA/N referrals was 64.1 per 1,000 children for Lucas County, up 5 percent from 2020. Physical abuse was the most alleged type of abuse on screened-in referrals. More than half of cases opened came from six ZIP codes (43605, 43609, 43604, 43612, 43607, and 43608); fifteen percent of all cases opened came from 43605 (East Toledo).
The number one reason for case opening was substance abuse by parents (51 percent), followed by mental health (33 percent), domestic violence (29 percent), and parenting/neglect (24 percent). Of cases opened for substance abuse, 45 percent involved parents using marijuana, followed closely by heroin/opioids and cocaine/crack (37 percent each), alcohol (31 percent), and other substances (15 percent).
In 2021, we had an average daily caseload of 1,583 children. Nearly all (97 percent) of these children were living in a family environment:
- 791 (50 percent) were living in their own homes
- 395 (25 percent) were in foster care or a similar placement
- 348 (22 percent) were living with a relative or other kinship caregiver
Only 47 children (3 percent) were in non-family settings such as group homes or private institutions. Fifteen children (<1 percent) were living in other circumstances.
In 2021, 83 children were adopted into new families, up eight percent from 2020. One hundred ten children were reunified with a parent, down 20 percent from 2020. Another 48 children were reunified with the non-removal parent, up 23 from prior year.