Calls reporting child abuse are down in the Shenandoah Valley during the pandemic

Shenandoah Valley Social Services in Verona
Shenandoah Valley Social Services in Verona(WVIR)
Published: Sep. 9, 2020 at 8:13 PM EDT
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SHENANDOAH VALLEY, Va. (WVIR) - Calls reporting child abuse in the Shenandoah Valley are down during the COVID-19 pandemic according to Shenandoah Valley Social Services Child Protective Services Supervisor Amber Martino.

Shenandoah Valley Social Services covers Staunton, Waynesboro, and Augusta County, and according to Martino the biggest drop in calls happened in April.

In April of 2019, nearly 200 calls came in, but this past April, while children were home due to COVID-19, that number dropped by 50, and cases assigned to an investigator were cut in half.

Looking at the numbers side-by-side, Martino says the difference is not that significant.

“We typically kind of see a decline in the summer months anyway when schools are out,” said Martino. “But in this case, like I said, it’s not drastic as far as the amount of calls that we were getting versus what we were getting last year.”

Martino says it is concerning that children learning from home are not as visible right now to mandatory reporters like teachers.

She encourages people with concerns to call 540-245-5800 and choose option six for a child protective services complaint.

CPS Fact Sheet

Information needed to make a report

A guide for school employees to report abuse or neglect

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