The link between COVID-19 and Child Abuse, and what we can do about it

COVID-19 may not be killing children in the same numbers as adults, but the virus that has locked down the world for nearly 6 months, is having a grave and long-lasting impact on children. When life is disrupted by a natural disaster, research has shown that incidents of abuse have increased, and children in dangerous situations can fall through the cracks in the system. Abuse and neglect are often associated with factors and conditions causing families to experience toxic levels of stress; including: lack of access to basic resources, housing instability, poverty, mental health issues and social isolation. Conversely, access to these concrete resources and services can help meet families’ basic needs and support parents in their role. Child maltreatment prevention requires a focus on these protective factors within children and families that can reduce risks, build family capacity, and foster resilience.

Unfortunately, the growing threat of the COVID-19 pandemic has caused increases in known risk factors, primarily: social isolation, parental stress, and economic strain. Many child protection professionals believe child abuse is likely to increase during the pandemic because most abusers are parents or siblings who now have more complete access to the child victim. In turn, the victim may no longer have school teachers, faith leaders or other mandated reporters they can access for help or who may detect a sign of abuse.

Here’s what we’re doing about it

Care in Action Minnesota is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, that provides essential support and assures access to basic needs for foster youth, children and families impacted by abuse or neglect across Minnesota, since 2005. Through a variety of programs and initiatives, we work to promote the social, physical, spiritual, and emotional well-being of children, strengthen families, connect communities and prevent childhood maltreatment. We thrive to foster equity, trauma-informed healing, family stability, and self-sufficiency.

With a continuing need to social distance as more become sick, we’ve seen needs quickly mount like never before. Everything from basics, like food to emergency financial assistance to pay for things like rent is urgently needed as families continue to experience lost wages due to illness or business closures and layoffs. As the crisis continues to grow, so do the negative effects on peoples’ health and their financial well being. Making it even more important than ever to provide immediate financial assistance to these families.

Through Care in Action Minnesota COVID-19 Family Emergency Relief Fund, we’re raising $5,000 to provide direct support to over 100 struggling families in our community

Ultimately, we hope our efforts respond to immediate needs, support equitable recovery, and strengthen our ongoing efforts to support child well-being, strengthen families, connect communities and prevent childhood maltreatment.

During times of uncertainty and crisis, it’s imperative we come together as a community to support one another. Join us today by supporting and sharing this campaign with a friend!

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