Protecting children from sexual abuse, mistreatment, emotional abuse or neglect is an every day combat that we should all join as a Nation.
In a recent article, Daniel Pollack, an attorney and professor at Yeshiva University’s School of Social Work in New York City and Elisa Reiter,an attorney, Board Certified in Family Law and Child Welfare Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, look back at 2020 and how the pandemic affected children suffering abuse.
School as a support to abused children
Schools not only provide education but also also support for those children who suffer from abuse or neglect. In person contact with students allows teachers to screen for abuse and discuss their concerns with social workers and school counselors who can then decide to intervene and help abused children. For children suffering from hunger the National School Lunch Program allows more than 30 million children to eat a lunch every day.
During the pandemic this support system was not directly available to children in need. While various hotlines and regional programs were deployed to provide assistance, it became more complicated for abused or neglected children to reach out. Food was also distributed during the Covid19 crisis but the access was not as easy as having a lunch at school everyday.
It is still difficult to evaluate the long term impact that the pandemic will have on children who suffered from abuse, neglect and financial hardship during that time. “Home is a child’s first and most important classroom.” If spanking increases the likelihood of a child engaging in violent behavior in adulthood, what impact will the pandemic have on a generation of children who were already grappling with abuse, neglect and financial hardship? How can we help children beat the cycle of abuse?
The complete article can be downloaded here