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249 Massachusetts children abused in state custody last year, report says

State officials found evidence supporting 249 allegations of physical and sexual abuse or poor care involving children in state-monitored settings last year.

The numbers were included in the Office of the Child Advocate's 2013 report obtained by the Boston Herald.

Thirty percent of the allegations were in foster care; 29 percent were in treatment programs; 19 percent in day cares; 18 percent from schools; and 4 percent from "others."

State child welfare officials say the total number of abuse and neglect reports in out-of-home settings has remained steady in recent years.

But Sara Bartosz, an attorney for the advocacy group Children's Rights, points out that the number of children in foster care is down.

A Department of Children and Families spokeswoman says the state works hard to protect all children.

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