Child abuse concerns rise as school closures mean fewer eyes on kids

The Bakersfield Californian

March 30, 2020

By Stacey Shepard

In the midst of a virus pandemic that has shuttered schools and workplaces and is creating financial and job-related stress for families, some social workers have another concern on their mind: child abuse and neglect.

An average of 41 Kern County kids a day were referred to Child Protective Services in 2018, and most of those referrals come from teachers, doctors and counselors, mandated reporters and people whose jobs involve interacting with children on a daily basis, according to Tom Corson, the director of Kern County Network for Children. On average, eight of the calls were substantiated neglect, he said.

“My fear right now is nobody has eyes on these kids,” Corson said.

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