Expert: Coronavirus school closures could cause more child abuse
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) - Experts in the field of family services say school closures due to Coronavirus could be putting some children at an increased risk of abuse and neglect.
Officials from the Colorado Department of Human Services told KRDO approximately forty percent of the calls to the Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline last month came from teachers and school/childcare staff.
"When children are not in school, calls to the Hotline drop significantly because they are no longer seen every day by school staff," explained Sarah Sparks, a spokesperson for the department. "This is why it is even more important that everyone report their concerns about the safety and well-being of a child or teen when schools are closed."
"We saw a significant number of the calls to the hotline drop the 9th and 10th, Monday and Tuesday," said Minna Castillo Cohen, Director of the Office of Children, Youth and Families at the Colorado Department of Human Services. "It is imperative that we as a community come together to look out for the safety and well-being of all of our kids. Some people think 'Oh, I shouldn't call, it's none of my business.' But we really encourage people to make that call. You don't have to be the expert in knowing if that's child abuse or neglect."
Castillo Cohen urges you to call 1-844-CO-4-KIDS if you suspect abuse or neglect. Trained professionals are there to take your call. You can also visit the DHS website for additional tools.