In Cook County, Marco Ocegueda, infant boy, died from injuries he sustained as a possible victim of child abuse. His family was the subject of a social service investigation whereupon the allegations were substantiated back in August. The initial Cook County DCFS investigation started when Marco was admitted to the hospital at three months of age in August 2008. He was diagnosed with a head injury and two broken legs. In September, Marco was released from the hospital back into the care of the family. The Department of Children and Family Services did not exercise their right to remove the child from the environment. This past week his mother notified authorities because Marco had stopped breathing. The investigation is underway; there are no charges in connection with his death at this time. It is not known whether or not DCFS employees followed state protocol while handling this case.
There are multiple risk factors in the environment that place children at risk to be victims of abuse. Researchers have identified abusive parents or caregivers as having risk factors such as substance abuse, low self-esteem, mental or physical disability, depression, history of abuse as a child, poor coping skills, poor impulse control, history of violent behavior or history of being raised in a group setting with no positive parental role.
All children are potential victims of child abuse, but some factors increase the risk for a child to be abused.