Stay vigilant in detecting child abuse during pandemic
Regarding “Child abuse reporting in Georgia down by half since schools closed amid virus” (AJC.com), I agree that this is not a positive outcome. The decline in reports typically suggests a decrease in child abuse, but this is not the case. Children are not in contact with mandated reporters, and that caused the decrease. During my internship with the Clarke County Division of Family and Children Services, the majority of cases I worked on were reported by school officials. Children are now staying at home, unable to go to school. Abuse is going unnoticed. Not to mention rising stress levels during this time puts children at greater risk for abuse. To counter this, state agencies need to work together. Not only do police need to be vigilant, but I suggest animal control be recruited to be hypervigilant in detecting abuse of children in addition to animals, as the two are often linked.