Child welfare sees concerning drop in suspected child abuse/neglect reports

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LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Nevada’s child welfare department is asking for public’s help amid a drop in suspected child abuse and neglect reports.

In March 2020, Nevada saw a 14% decrease in suspected child abuse and neglect reports which includes a 46% decrease in reports made by educational personnel. Schools, which often report suspects abuse, were closed in mid-March due to the pandemic.

According to the Division of Child and Family Services, in the week prior to school closures, child welfare services received 256 reports from educational personnel.  In the week following school closures, it received 12 reports.

“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,” stated Ross Armstrong, Division of Child and Family Services Administrator. “Teachers are a critical ally in the battle against child abuse and neglect. Now it is up to responsible community members to watch out for the children in our communities.”

The state says other first responders are receiving fewer calls as well, however, the calls they are receiving are more severe in nature. 

To report suspected child abuse or neglect, you can call:  Clark County Department of Family Services: (702) 399-0081 Washoe County Human Services Agency: (775) 785-8600 (For all other counties in Nevada) Division of Child and Family Services: (833) 803-1183 

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