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JFS: Number of children killed due to abuse in Hamilton County in 2021 finalized at 10

Posted at 4:46 PM, Dec 30, 2021

CINCINNATI — WCPO 9 News has uncovered new information related to child abuse in Hamilton County.

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services updated the number of children who died due to child abuse in Hamilton County in 2021 while a case worker was actively investigating their case. That means a case worker knew of the child before they died.

ODJFS confirmed Wednesday that 10 children died in 2021 due to confirmed abuse. Of those 10, four of the cases were open at the time of the child's death.

So far in 2022, ODJFS said data shows four children died in Hamilton County due to substantiated abuse. Three of those cases were open at the time of death.

When WCPO began reporting this information in December 2021, JFS Client Records Custodian Christopher Duckworth wrote, “There were eight child fatalities that were substantiated for abuse upon assessment, three of which were open cases at the time of death. Six additional child fatalities are still in the assessment process and their dispositions are pending. Two of those pending cases were open at the time of death.”

By February 2022, those statistics changed. The increase comes after Springdale police announced a warrant for the arrest of Bryce Foster. Police believe she is responsible for the death of her daughter, Kaysen Blackshear.

Hamilton County Juvenile Court records indicate case workers did not have prior suspicions of abuse before Blackshear's death.

Previous report:

WCPO asked for this information after reporting prosecutors added a murder charge against two teen parents, Shakayla Sams and Donte Farrier, when their 5-month-old died in the hospital. Detectives said medical personnel discovered injuries on the child that occurred over the past several months.

WCPO has followed up with JFS, asking the names of the children killed to find out what, if anything, could have been done in each case to remove the children from harm’s way before it was too late. The latest numbers have also been sent to Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine for his response as well.

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