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Child Abuse and Neglect Risks During COVID-19

TexProtects, The Texas Association for the Protection of Children – 2020

Despite the decreases in reports and the normal variance that occurs during school closure during the earlier months of COVID-19, research supports an assumption that the stresses of COVID-19 on families is likely increasing the risk of child maltreatment. Included here is a summary of relevant research that points to the ways in which economic recessions, unemployment, increases in family violence, mental health, substance use, and parental stress have been correlated to increases in child abuse and neglect. COVID-19 has added social isolation, lack of access to services, and physical health challenges to the mix of stressors for families. Without a dramatic shift in our state to family support and prevention programs that can offer families what they need in order to provide safety, nurturing, and resiliency to their children, research supports projections of dramatic increases in child abuse and neglect both now and in the coming years. (Author abstract)