With locals schools closed for the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the number of reported child abuse cases have also declined. Normally, teachers are on the front-line for reporting abuse and neglect to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) and now with the front-line gone, DFPS is asking the community to pay attention .
“The DFPS has not seen a surge in child abuse and neglect cases and the hot-line for reporting has slowed down since the COVID-19 pandemic, but the decrease is less than 20- percent,” said DFPS representative John Lennan.
The effects of COVID-19, and the infrastructure on many health and human agencies are struggling to find a new way to approach the services they provide. All case-workers are still responding to allegations of child abuse, but DSHS as well as other health care workers across the nation are struggling to find the protective wear for COVID-19 when entering homes. Case-workers are still waiting to receive protective wear and are currently working with Supervisors to create better ways to handle the current conditions for this pandemic.
“In-person visits are a critical part of the abuse/neglect screening process, but we are using technology tools to do virtual visits when appropriate,” said Lennan. “The school system is the biggest reporters for child abuse and we are now asking everyone to be mindful of this and keep your eyes and ears open for children who may show signs of abuse and neglect.”
If you suspect a child is being abused or neglected please contact the hot-line number at: 1-800-252-5400 or report online at www.txabusehotline.org.