A letter written to President Reagan by a schoolgirl asking him to help a girlfriend who was being beaten by her father took nearly two years to reach the proper authorities, officials say.

Delaware County Childrens Services workers were investigating the letter, mailed Jan. 7, 1987, after it arrived Tuesday via the White House and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children in Washington. "I mean, it sounded pretty serious and we get the letter almost two years later," said Donna Bukovec, a Children's Services social worker.It was sent to Reagan by a girl who was an eighth-grade student at the time, said Ms. Bukovec. She would not divulge details on the girl's identity.

Ms. Bukovec said social workers talked to the girl Thursday and were trying to determine whether an abuse case still exists. But Bukovec said she was certain abuse was occuring when the girl wrote the letter.