In times of crisis and economic instability, child abuse and neglect rates increase. A recent opinion piece in the New York Times by Dr. Nina Agrawal, a child abuse pediatrician, illustrated this point: “Already there are reports of a surge in suspected child abuse cases in Texas. We’ve seen this before during stressful times. During the 2008 recession, pediatricians reported a rise in infant injuries and deaths from abusive head trauma, a trend that lingered for years after the economy recovered.”
However, reports of child abuse and neglect in Minnesota have declined. Children are not going to school, activities, places of worship and other public places where adults look out for their safety and well-being.
Minnesota Children’s Alliance has partnered with Missouri Kids First and Prevent Child Abuse Missouri to provide resources for essential workers, school professionals, and community members.
Kids are Counting on Adults to Protect Them
During this unprecedented time, essential workers, school professionals, and community members all have a role in keeping the children in our community safe. If you reasonably suspect a child is unsafe – report.
“This pandemic has brought with it additional challenges in protecting young people from abuse and revealed gaps in our existing approach. We have an opportunity to use new tools to ensure that children are safe — tools that will serve them during this crisis and long after.” – Dr. Nina Agrawal
Anyone can make a report of suspected child abuse or maltreatment. And anyone making a report in good faith is protected against civil/criminal penalty or adverse employment action. When you report, you are asking for a professional to help a child and their family. You do not need proof. You are not making an accusation.
Where to Report in Minnesota
To report concerns about child abuse or maltreatment, contact your local child protection agency. If a child is in immediate danger, call 911.
For more information from the Alliance on how to respond when a child discloses abuse, read these tips.