Report faults many states on child abuse policies

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NEW YORK (AP) -- A new report says that many states often fail to release adequate information about fatal and near-fatal child abuse cases.

The report by two child advocacy groups also says that states place confidentiality above disclosure to a degree that discourages needed reforms.

The report calls on Congress and state legislators to adopt stronger policies and laws regarding deadly and life-threatening child abuse cases. It's being released Tuesday by First Star, a national nonprofit which advocates for abused children, and by the University of San Diego School of Law's Children's Advocacy Institute.

It gives 10 states a failing grade for their disclosure practices.

Several of the states receiving low grades defended their policies on grounds that families entangled in near-fatal abuse cases were entitled to confidentiality.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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