We are in the midst of a public health emergency—it’s truly an unprecedented time and many children, adults, and families don’t know where to turn to for guidance and support. The coronavirus is becoming a part of our everyday lives as Americans have been glued to the news as updates unfold on a daily basis. Suddenly terms like pandemic, social distancing, and sheltering-in-place have become household norms.
During this time of adjustment, there are MANY resources available for families to learn how to help cope with what’s going on around them right now. Even as an adult, this can be a scary time.
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, yet with so many families’ daily routines being disrupted or coming to a near halt, we expect incidents of abuse and neglect to be much higher than what reports will suggest. This is of utmost concern to our organization and child welfare professionals across the commonwealth.
School closures result in children being socially isolated. This could mean that they are stuck at home with the individual(s) who is perpetrating the abuse. Teachers are most often the individuals who report suspected child abuse cases because students are in their care nearly 8 hours a day for 9 months. Unfortunately, with children being socially isolated, there are fewer individuals checking in on them. We strongly encourage you to call ChildLine at 1-800-932-0313 if you think that a child is being neglected or abused. Please know that even with the pandemic, suspected cases of child abuse and neglect are being investigated. Child Welfare offices in each of our state’s 67 counties are still operating and serving the needs of children and families.
To help families and caregivers cope with the mental, physical, and emotional aspects of coronavirus, we pulled together a number of resources for dealing with COVID-19. These resources provide insight on how to deal with stress and mental health, as well as how to talk to children about the COVID-19 pandemic. We have even posted a few resources that detail fun, indoor activities that you can do with your children while you are sheltering-in-place at home!
We encourage you to use the collection of free resources we’ve put together on our website, so that you and your family can navigate the issues that have arisen as a result of this pandemic. Together we can protect the health and wellbeing of Pennsylvania’s children.
We’re wishing you and your family good health and peace of mind during this challenging time.
Pa Family Support Alliance