Addressing Child Maltreatment During COVID-19
The Texas School Safety Center knows our Texas educators are earnest and diligent in their efforts to protect the safety and wellbeing of every student. Although we cannot yet know the full scope of the impacts the coronavirus pandemic will have on our school communities, a particular concern reverberating across the nation is the increased potential for child abuse or neglect.
Educators play a critical role in identifying and reporting suspected child abuse cases. In 2018, education personnel were the leading professional report source (other professional report sources include, for example, childcare providers, law enforcement personnel, medical professionals), reporting 21% of an overall 4.3 million CPS agency referrals nationwide1.
With prolonged school closures, and extraordinary financial and social stressors on families, the potential for harm to children is heightened while the potential for educators to identify abuse is diminished.
To assist educators facing difficult situations during remote or in-person learning, we compiled a list of state and national resources toward preventing, identifying, and reporting suspected child abuse, neglect, and trafficking.
|Children at Risk||
Children at Risk is a Texas-based research and advocacy organization that educates and provides services designed to help prevent human trafficking, economic disadvantage among children, and abuses against children. Services offered include:
|DFPS||The Texas Department of Family Services provides Texas school and family specific information including:|
|OAG||The Texas Office of the Attorney General focuses primarily on support for children, victims of crime, and consumer protections, highlighting:|
The Texas Education Agency offers numerous resources pertinent to child safety, such as:
|TxSSC||The Texas School Safety Center also offers several useful resources including:|
Childhelp is an internationally renowned non-profit organization dedicated to helping victims and children at risk of child abuse and neglect. The organization offers resources for teachers including:
Loveisrespect is a non-profit that originated from the National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-7233) and now focuses on engaging, educating, and empowering young people to prevent and end abusive relationships. They provide:
|Break the Cycle||Break the Cycle is a national non-profit dedicated to ending relationship violence among young people. They provide numerous resources, including:|
|NDVH||The 24-hour National Domestic Violence Hotline, 1-800-799-SAFE (7233), provides resources for individuals in unsafe domestic situations or others trying to help those in unsafe situations, such as:|
|Polaris Project||The Polaris Project is a non-profit focused on raising awareness, reporting, and providing resources for human trafficking including:|
Concerns about human trafficking or coerced labor or sex work can be reported to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, 1-888-3737-888.
As a national and comprehensive reporting center, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children offers extensive information and resources pertaining to child exploitation, disaster preparation, and missing children such as:
1U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children’s Bureau. (2020). Child maltreatment 2018. Retrieved from https://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/cb/cm2018.pdf