The coronavirus outbreak is having a major impact on every part of daily life, and that’s certainly the case for community organizations as well as state and federal agencies dedicated to the prevention of child abuse and neglect. Media outlets at the national and local levels are recognizing the importance of helping families navigate this public health crisis, which is exacerbating the stresses being placed on parents, caregivers and their children.
A story in USA Today details how “hundreds of thousands of vulnerable U.S. children could face a heightened risk of abuse and neglect as coronavirus-related school closures keep them at home and away from the nation’s biggest group of hotline tipsters: educators.” It also explains how “even kids in otherwise functional families could face peril as parents unaccustomed to providing round-the-clock care and stressed by the collapsing economy are pushed to the edge.” The story explores what leading experts like Melissa Merrick, president and CEO of Prevent Child Abuse America, and renowned pediatrician Robert Sege have to say about this difficult issue.
The Charleston Post and Courier explains the impact the coronavirus is having on keeping children safe from the perspective of the S.C. Department of Social Services. Michael Leach, the director of the child-serving agency, called the unprecedented pandemic “devastating to our operations” and expressed concern that children in this state will more likely face abuse and neglect as they spend several months outside of school.
“Everybody is scared,” Leach said. “The pandemic has amplified our weaknesses.”
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and as the S.C. affiliate for Prevent Child Abuse America, Children’s Trust leads the effort to raise awareness about preventing child abuse and neglect in the Palmetto State. Our CAP Month page addresses the effects of the coronavirus and what all of us can do to help support families and children during these trying and uncertain times.