9/23/2020 11:32:20 AM
A message from Judge Franklin Sullivan
COVID-19 - Decrease in Child Abuse Reports
The COVID-19 pandemic has created a perfect storm of factors that has led to a sharp increase in unreported cases of child abuse and neglect. The detection of child abuse and neglect is heavily dependent on reports by teachers, doctors and other professionals who are mandated reporters. About 75% of suspected child abuse and neglect reports in Nevada are made by mandated reporters. Upon the onset of the pandemic in March, Nevada saw a 14% decrease in suspected child abuse and neglect reports, which included a 46% decrease in reports made by educational personnel. The week following the closing of Nevada’s school buildings on March 16, 2020, Child Welfare Services received 12 reports from school personnel in comparison to 256 reports the week prior to school closures. In Clark County, Child Welfare investigations decreased 43% in the month of April with a 35% reduction in the month of May. “Unfortunately, this drop in reporting is not likely due to a drop in child abuse, but rather fewer community members with eyes on vulnerable kids”, Ross Armstrong, DCFS Administrator.