A Star-Telegram special report
A voice for children
Confronting child abuse in Tarrant County
Tarrant County has a child abuse problem.
Though countless individuals and agencies work tirelessly on behalf of children in North Texas, the statistics are startling.
In 2016, there were 5,162 confirmed cases of child abuse or neglect in Tarrant County, according to state data. That’s down 6 percent from 2015, but still the second-highest total among the state’s five largest counties.
Harris County had the most confirmed cases in 2016, with 5,812.
But when broken down to victims per 1,000 child population, Tarrant County doubles Harris County’s number — 9.67 victims to 4.80 victims.
“Any child who experiences abuse is too much,” said Paul Gravley, executive director of The Parenting Center, a Fort Worth organization that provides services to victims.
The Star-Telegram spent five months exploring the broad topic, and the results are being published in a three-part series, starting with an in-depth look at some troubling child deaths that were ruled undetermined or remain unsolved.
Part 2 takes you on a eye-opening walk down Las Vegas Trail, one of the worst areas of abuse and neglect in Fort Worth.
Part 3 tells the brave stories of survivors and about our role — your role — in reporting suspected abuse.