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Commentary: Calls about child abuse drop; that’s a red flag

By May 20, 2020January 8th, 2021ChildSafe In The News
ExpressNews 5 20 2020 Article image

In recent weeks, phone calls to the state’s child abuse hotline have fallen substantially.

At first, this might sound like a good thing, but it worries child advocates who fear for the safety of children in our community. Since shelter-in-place orders began, many children are trapped in homes where substance and alcohol abuse, domestic violence and food insecurity are commonplace. They are not attending school physically, so teachers, the No. 1 reporters of child abuse, do not see the whole child, in person.

Texas Department of Family and Protective Services reports more than 8,000 fewer calls to its child abuse hotline in April compared with this time last year. And its online reporting, a tool used primarily by teachers and service professionals, is down 56 percent.

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