Spotting child abuse during virtual learning, QC Child Abuse Council gives tips

The Quad Cities Child Abuse Council says the stress of the pandemic may lead to more abuse.
Published: Jan. 11, 2021 at 8:06 AM CST
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - Teachers are some of the main reporters of child abuse, but protecting kids may be harder during virtual learning.

“Teachers are being pulled in both directions teaching both in-person and virtually some days. It can hinder their instincts,” says Brooke Hendrickx, Director of Development and Communications with Child Abuse Council Quad Cities.

The council says reports of abuse are usually up when school starts.

“The easiest way to explain it is kids are back in front of mandated reporters, they are not home. So during the beginning of the pandemic when we really didn’t have remote school, we saw a significant decrease in child abuse reports because kids were separated from those mandated reporters,” says Hendrickx.

The stress of the pandemic may lead to more abuse, but spotting the signs of it through a computer is challenging.

“When going back to school virtually or in the classroom we are advising teachers to do what they have been doing. Look for those same signs that you would in a classroom. Encourage students to turn their cameras on even just for a little bit to check in,” Hendrickx says.

Finding creative ways to engage with students virtually and keeping them connected is key.

“The pandemic has decreased our connections with one another and usually it’s those connections that help to alleviate our stresses,” she says.

Hendrickx reminds adults, teachers, and caregivers to stay vigilant, be observant, and ask kids questions.

She says, “The more eyes watching out for a child, the better off that child is.”

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