The reports of child abuse and neglect are up in Cuyahoga County.
In 2017, 88 more child abuse and neglect cases were reported than 2016.
If the numbers tell the story, it's possible parents in the past may have read a story like this and thought "not me".
Now, they may be paying more attention, relating...”please don't let that be me”.
A renewed proactive approach is trying to reach those parents before they reach the brink.
Dr. Lolita McDavid is the Medical Director for Child Advocacy and Protection at University Hospital's Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital.
Dr. McDavid emphasized that there is no typical family or profile for abuse.
"Sometimes I hear, Oh they seem like a really nice family that wouldn't do that. I can't tell you who is a really nice family that wouldn't do that. Because we see these numbers every day and often we peel back an onion," said McDavid.
In 2017, University Hospitals' Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital saw an increase of 167 abuse and neglect cases over 2016.
"I think there is an increase in us detecting abuse. I believe there has always been abuse. We are much better now at looking at it, recognizing it, and being able to do something about it," says McDavid, who also served on the board of Ohio Children's Trust Fund.
McDavid points out "abuse" reports also includes categories where kids aren't getting medical care, kids born to drug addicted moms, and more.
"It’s not always what you think of. It really runs the gamut," says McDavid.
Still, there's a bright spot to be found in the numbers.
The 2017 numbers for Cuyahoga County are still 900 less than in 2015.
According to McDavid, a majority of cases aren’t reported by professionals.
It's family members and neighbors, she says, the everyday whistle blowers who see something is not right and say something.
"It’s everybody's business and so we need to do something about it," says McDavid.
At Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, there are several programs on the way for Child Abuse Prevention month in April.
“What’s The Next Step?” is one of them, for all parents, so that your kids aren’t the next statistic.