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Tragedy Spotlights Vunerability of Children

Every year in Massachusetts, an average of 70,000 calls come in to the Department of Social Services from people suspecting a child they know is being abused. Half of those cases are verified and put under the agency's watch.

Nevertheless, some children still fall through the cracks, such as Haleigh Poutre. The 11-year-old Westfield girl is in a coma, after suffering a severe beating in September. She's now in DSS custody, which is in a legal battle over whether Poutre should remain on life support.

In the shadow of such a tragedy, many community members and child advocates wonder what can be done to strengthen the safety net for children.

Karen Brown of WFCR, Amherst, reports.

This program aired on January 10, 2006. The audio for this program is not available.

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