Questions raised about increase of child deaths in Illinois

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(KTVI) – Illinois child welfare officials are facing questions about the increase in the number of children who have died of neglect or abuse in the state.

Agency officials say the higher number reflects a change in the way neglect cases are counted.

This past year, the Department of Children and Family Services says 104 children died of abuse or neglect in Illinois in the fiscal year that ended in June. That is an increase from an average of 77.

Of those deaths, 74 were classified as neglect cases.