Why is it happening? That's the question the Texas Senate's Committee on Health and Human Services is asking on a noticebale increase in the death rate of children in the Child Protective Services system.
Judge John Specia told the panel a majority of the children who have died while in the system have been among the most vulnerable.
"The starkest statistic is children under three represent 80% of the deaths caused by abuse and neglect. They can't run, they can't move, they can not protect themselves--they can't say I'm being hurt by somebody" Speia said, adding in most cases the cause of death can be traced back to abuse--not neglect.
"One of the most distinctive issues is the lack of protective capacity by the caregiver" Specia told the panel, testifying that includes incidents of small children being suffocated while sharing a bed with an adult.