During this COVID-19 pandemic, we have all been asked to follow Washington State’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy order, which has led to the closures of schools, dental offices, courtrooms and has even changed the way DCYF interacts with families.
These closures and social distancing efforts have limited mandatory reporters’ access to children and youth, making it harder to detect abuse or neglect and leaving many children at risk.
Educators and healthcare workers are the leading reporters of child abuse and neglect. With schools on hiatus, doctors focused on COVID-19 and families social distancing, it is no surprise that the number of child abuse reports we’ve received has gone down.
DCYF is aware that a decrease in reports during this time does not necessarily mean there is nothing to report. In fact, the risk to our nation’s children experiencing child abuse and neglect in times of extreme stress and uncertainty is actually quite high.
School and workplace closings can increase stress in parents’ lives, resulting from loss of income due to lack of paid leave, an unexpected or irregular need for child care and even food insecurity.
This is why we need you to be a hero to a child in need. Continue to be the eyes and ears and report any suspected child abuse or neglect 24/7 by calling, 1-866-363-4276 or your local intake office.
Learn more about the signs of child abuse and other resources by visiting the DCYF website.
Share these graphics to encourage others to report child abuse or neglect.
Thank you for all that you do.